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A man walks along the Embarcadero April 6, 2005 in San Francisco.

Men’s poor health a drag on the economy: Study

WT24 Desk

The biggest factors are tobacco smoking, excess weight, alcohol consumption and a lack of physical activity. And Quebecers are the worst offenders in two of those categories, with 14.8 per cent of men consuming alcohol at what is considered hazardous or harmful levels, while 45.7 per cent of Quebec men are inactive. That costs Quebec about $8.2 billion per year, the study, released on the first day of Canadian Men’s Health Week, shows.

Of the $36.9 billion Canadian total, $11.9 billion are direct health care costs, while premature mortality costs $14 billion, with long-term disability ($8.6 billion) and short-term disability ($2.4 billion) making up the rest. The study also breaks down the economic impact based on risk factor, with smoking topping the list ($13 billion), followed by excess weight ($11.9 billion), alcohol abuse ($7.6 billion) and inactivity ($4.4 billion).

There are about 40 different chronic conditions related to these conditions, including things like chronic lung diseases, various cancers, diabetes, heart diseases, strokes and back pain. Newfoundland & Labrador has the highest per capita cost related to these risk factors at $2,712, with Quebec falling in the middle of the pack at $2,024, which is below the Canadian average of $2,127. British Columbia has the lowest cost at $1,944.

Men in Newfoundland & Labrador are also the biggest smokers, with 26.2 per cent, while 66.8 per cent carry excess weight, Montreal Gazette reports.

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