Chronic disease raising ‘alarm bells’

Lack of prevention can mean higher absenteeism, presenteeism
By Shannon Klie
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/30/2010

Chronic diseases are looming as a major potential barrier to competitiveness and productivity and organizations need to take steps to prevent and manage these conditions, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

“We’re seeing massive increases, across a number of chronic conditions, that are raising alarm bells,” said Diana MacKay, director of education and health at the Conference Board of Canada in Ottawa.

In 2005, 42 per cent of Canadians over the age of 12 were living with at least one chronic disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease or mood disorders, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.