While every Canadian faces his or her own unique set of health hurdles, there are a number of ailments that have become pervasive in Canada. Though medicine has advanced over the years, our modern lifestyles have introduced a new set of health challenges. Here are some of the top health problems that Canadians face today.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, diagnoses of diabetes among Canadians increased 70 percent from 1998/1999 to 2008/2009. For those ages 35 to 44, the number of diagnoses actually doubled in that decade! Experts blame the shocking increase in the disease on rising obesity rates, caused by diet and inactivity. The Canadian Diabetes Association says there are nine million Canadians with diabetes or prediabetes, and experts expect the prevalence of the disease to grow another 47 percent by 2024.
Heart disease and stroke are consistently among the leading causes of death in both men and women. Though some of the contributing factors, such as age, race and family history, are out of our control, many of the lifestyle factors associated with heart disease are on the rise. For instance, the rise in obesity and inactivity is putting more and more Canadians at risk. And for those Canadians living with diabetes, heart disease risk is also higher. While smoking has decreased greatly in the past decade, 16 percent of Canadians are still smoking, and putting themselves at a significantly higher risk for developing heart disease.
Multiple sclerosis may not be a leading killer, but it's a scary and uniquely Canadian disease. Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world, with about 100,000 people living with the disease. Most are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40, but the cause of the disease is still unknown. Mysteriously, some of the hardest hit countries seem to be those furthest from the equator, leading some people to believe that the disease is linked to a shortage of vitamin D, which is produced from sun exposure. But even accounting for our northern location, this theory doesn't seem to explain why our rate is a whopping 28 percent higher than that of Denmark, the country with the next highest rate.
Cancer as a whole is the leading cause of death among Canadians, and the incidence of the disease is expected to increase in coming years as our population ages. More than 75,000 Canadians are estimated to die of cancer a year. While lung and colorectal cancers account for 40 percent of all cancer deaths, skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer. In the past two decades, we have managed to decrease the death rates associated with many cancers, including breast, prostate and stomach cancers, but others, such as liver cancer, are on the rise. (Liver cancer is associated with hepatitis, alcohol use, obesity and diabetes.) Though there have been many advances in cancer research in the past several years, Canadians still have a long way to go in the fight against cancer.
While it's not a disease in itself, alcohol leads to a number of dangerous diseases in Canadians, including addiction and several types of cancer, but alcohol can also lead to other accidents and personal injuries. In fact, alcohol can account for eight percent of all deaths among Canadians under the age of 70, and a study from the journal Addiction says that Canadians drink about 50 percent more alcohol than the rest of the world, on average.
Much like cancer, chances are that everyone has been affected by mental illness in some way, whether through association with friends or family, or through their own struggles. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 20 percent of Canadians will experience mental illness in their lifetime, and eight percent of adults will experience major depression. Mental illness also leads to suicide, which is one of the leading causes of death among Canadians from adolescence to middle age. Unfortunately, Canada still struggles to properly treat mental illness, as many patients wait months to see a psychiatrist or are forced to pay out of pocket for therapy.
There has been a recent flurry of misinformation warning the public about the safety of vaccines that has gotten health officials worried that we could soon see a rise in previously eradicated diseases. In early 2014, there was an outbreak of the measles in Fraser Valley, B.C., that made hundreds of people sick because of the failure to vaccinate against the disease. Currently, the province of British Columbia is reporting their lowest vaccination rates among kindergarteners in a decade. And it's not just affecting kids. During the 2014 flu season, a poll found that less than four in 10 Canadians received the flu shot, and the primary reason so many neglected to get it was because of a mistrust of vaccines. In the coming years, education about vaccines should be a priority in Canada to keep the next generation free of preventable diseases.
10 winter manicures that will make you forget your weather blues Image by: instagram.com/thetenspot
Add a touch of whimsy, colour or class to your winter wardrobe with a great manicure.
When it comes to winter, we usually forget to have fun with our beauty look. It's probably because we're more concerned about keeping warm with hefty sweaters and tuques. When it comes to beauty we're focused on keeping our lips soft, our skin hydrated and our beauty updates affordable. We tend to put fun lip colours and bold eyeliner on the back burner.
But break out of that winter beauty rut! There's an easy way to have a little fun—and you won't even need to pick up a new lipstick. Instead, make your next manicure (whether you're heading to a salon or DIY-ing your mani at home) one of these great picks. We looked at our favourite nail brands, artists and manicure spots to bring your the best winter manicure ideas.
If you're mani game is mostly neutrals, try something new this season by picking a rich, jewel-tone colour like this purple. It will wear just as easily as your go-to black—but much more modern.
The ballet trend was major last fall so it makes sense that it's making its way to your nails. Pick a delicate pink or peach to brighten up your winter greys.
Pantone's colour of the year is greenery—so embrace the hue by adding it to you manicure.
Update a winter white mani by adding pops of bold or neon colour. It's a simple way to embrace nail art—without the tricky application.
A pretty in pink mani will make sure you always have a bright and fun colour—even if you live in all-black outfits.
There's something to be said for a simple, streamlined manicure in a neutral colour. Classic and cozy, no?
There's a reason why a red manicure is such a classic—it's bold and sexy and it goes with just about anything.
There's an easy way to go graphic this season—do it with your nails! We love this black and white half moon accent.
Embrace the winter blues by making the hue your next manicure pick. Our advice? Keep it close to navy—you'll be surprised how versatile this colour is.
Feel adventurous? Add a touch of metallic to your next manicure. We especially love the look when you keep the background neutral.
Svava Sigbertsdottir, founder of the butt-kicking Viking Workout
UK (by way of Iceland) trainer Svava Sigbertsdottir, founder of the butt-kicking Viking Workout, talks about her workout philosophy and shares simple, equipment-free exercises that you can do at home.
This modern take on crowd-pleasing Black Forest cake is the perfect ending to your holiday meal.
Wow guests with a festive dessert at the end of your holiday feast, whether it's a trifle, cake or a traditional yule log.
With seasonal fruit, honey and almonds, this galette makes an impressive dessert.
Get the recipe: Pear, Fig and Almond Galette
This modern take on crowd-pleasing Black Forest cake is the perfect ending to your holiday meal.
Get the recipe: Black Forest Pie
These doughnuts, traditionally enjoyed at Hanukkah, taste best when eaten the day they are made, but it won't be difficult to find volunteers to help finish off this impressive tower of jam-filled treats.
Get the recipe: Sufganiyot Tower
This delicate meringue-based treat is a twist on the famous French Mont Blanc dessert. For best results, assemble it just before serving.
Get the recipe: Chestnut Cream Pavlova
Ruby-red pomegranate seeds add the perfect amount of tang to this sweet and salty dark chocolate bark.
Get the recipe: Pomegranate, Pistachio and Apricot Bark
Chunks of chocolate cake doused in hazelnut liqueur and layered with dollops of chocolate-hazelnut pastry cream make a spectacular dessert.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Trifle
Need a dessert to wow even the most discerning dinner guests? Look no further than this traditional holiday cake, updated with white chocolate birch bark topping and buttery toffee filling.
Get the recipe: Crunchy Caramel Bûche De Noël
For an unforgettable finale, treat your guests to their very own cranberry-filled meringue nests. A boozy whipped cream, known as a syllabub, makes a festive topping.
Get the recipe: Cranberry Pear Meringue Nests
We've turned the beloved holiday drink into an extra-creamy, richly flavoured pie that's sure to be a hit with your guests.
Get the recipe: Eggnog Pie
This stunning tart showcases delicately flavoured figs. For best results, choose ripe ones that are plump, tender and heavy.
Get the recipe: Fresh Fig and Almond Tart
Make these golden amaretto-soaked cakes a month ahead so they have plenty of time to develop the perfect level of mellow boozy flavour.
Get the recipe: Mini Cherry Almond Christmas Cakes
Crispy on the outside with a dark chocolate filling, these flaky bites are both easy and elegant.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Phyllo Cigars
These not-too-sweet confections have a nice chewy texture and a distinct coconut flavour
Get the recipe: Coconut Mochi Snowballs
This pull-apart monkey bread tastes just like apple fritters, and it conveniently separates into little doughnut holes for shareable bite-size treats!
Get the recipe: Apple Fritter Monkey Bread
Each of these adorable mini cupcakes is topped with a special treat: candy presents!
Get the recipe: Mini Present Cupcakes
The three components in this recipe are each superb on their own; when combined, they make a crazy-delicious dessert.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Caramel Cupcake Parfaits
With a swirly peppermint embedded in each square, these sweet treats pair the immediate gratification of creamy fudge with the lasting effects of hard candy.
Get the recipe: White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
Whisky often has notes of vanilla, caramel and chocolate, making it a lovely complement to desserts featuring those same flavours.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Whisky Pavé with Sponge Toffee
This moist cake tastes like a blend of two of our country's most-loved doughnut flavours: sour cream and maple-glazed.
Get the recipe: Maple-Glazed Doughnut Bundt Cake
A traditional holiday recipe, this popular Yule log is a cinch to make in stages, ready to assemble the day before serving.
Get the recipe: Dark Chocolate Bûche De Noël
You only need a small slice of this incredibly rich tart to gratify even the most intense chocolate craving. For the perfect crust, buy preground chocolate wafers, which are fine and evenly sized.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Espresso Tart
The contrast of buttery cream and red wine–poached pears makes these tarts a stunning addition to your holiday spread.
Get the recipe: Red Wine-Poached Pear Tartlets
The decadent flavour of this honey-infused pecan pie filling is made even more addictive when topped with chunks of dark chocolate.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Pecan Tartlets
Soaked in rum and layered with juicy cinnamon apples and vanilla custard, spiced gingerbread steals the spotlight in this holiday favourite.
Get the recipe: Gingerbread Apple Trifle
Using vanilla wafer cookies instead of the traditional sponge cake makes these no-bake miniature buches de Noel (yule logs) an easy make-ahead treat.
Get the recipe: Mini Bûches de Noël