Global Health Issues 2019: Canada


Fraser Clarke

The biggest health issues are always evolving, with each country and continent having its own challenges. In the first of a new series, Global Health Issues, we’ll take a look at each country we work with, and examine what conditions are most prevalent there.

In the first installment we’ll take a look at Canada, a vast country that faces some equally as big challenges.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease remains one of the world’s biggest killers, and so it’s little surprise to learn that it remains a huge issue in Canada. 

Many cases can be brought on by unhealthy lifestyle choices like a poor diet, little exercise and smoking tobacco. Although tobacco consumption rates have dropped in recent years, obesity rates appear to be on the rise - potentially resulting in a great number of cardiovascular issues.

According to statistics poorer people are at a 49% greater chance of cardiovascular conditions, with more than 1.6m people now battling heart issues in the country - a figure that has actually dropped slightly since the 1960s.


As with cardiovascular disease, cancer is an issue throughout the world - one which medical researchers have spent a long time studying, with only a small amount of success recorded to date.

In Canada Lung, Colorectal, Prostate and Breast Cancer are the most common types of the condition, with more than 200,000 cases diagnosed annually. Current research suggests that around half of all Canadians will get Cancer during their lifetime, with a quarter losing their life as a direct result.

This has lead to calls for a more proactive response, focused on the benefits of early screening and ensuring that you avoid any risk factors.

Opioid Abuse

Aside from some of the larger global issues, Canada also has problems with addiction - especially to opioids.

Painkiller addiction is one of the largest issues in the country, with more than 9,000 deaths recorded over the last 16 months as a direct result of individuals overdosing on medication. This has lead to a 73% rise in hospital admissions for opioid poisoning in one state alone.

A stigma has started to build up around their use, with the issue potentially growing at a far greater rate than any statistics can show, due to the underground nature of the addiction.

Mood Disorders

Over 2.6 million people in Canada currently suffer from mood disorders, with this most prominent amongst working age people in the country.

Issues related to anxiety and bipolar disorder are the most common, with many cases brought on by an unhealthy work/life balance.

It is estimated that, by the age of 40, 50% of Canadians will have experienced at least one mental health issue in their life - with rates amongst young people especially soaring. 

Whilst still not quite at the stage of New Zealand and Australia, mental illness remains a huge issue in Canada - and with awareness and stigma starting to drop, it looks set to require greater help in years to come.


Given the increasing rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease, it should come as little surprise that diabetes levels are also on the increase in Canada. Currently more than 3 million people live with the condition, and around 200,000 new cases are being diagnosed annually.

As with cardiovascular conditions, wealth can have an impact of your risk factor - with those who are less well off 51% more likely than the wealthiest group in society to have issues with the condition.

Campaigns raising awareness around how to avoid type-two diabetes are being rolled out throughout the country, however in many cases it’s already too late.

Would a move to Canada interest you? Could you help the country in its battle with any of the conditions outlined above? Register on our website today to start your Odyssey, a dream move could be closer than you might imagine.