People in Canada Live Longer and Healthier Lives
The Global Burden of Disease Study showed that the overall health of Canadians is good compared to many other countries in the world. People live longer in Canada even if they have a disease that can have a great impact on their longevity.
Dr. Heather Orpana, an author of the study and a researcher at the Public Health Agency of Canada said:
“These data show us that Canada is doing well, with a relatively high level of overall health, and with life expectancy and health-adjusted life expectancy that is on par with other similar countries in North America, Europe, and Australasia.”
The study showed that the leading cause of death was non-communicable diseases such as cancer, musculoskeletal diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and substance abuse disorders. The listed diseases and disorders made up to 56% of all disabilities people encounter. Dr. Justin Lang, lead author of the study:
“As our population ages, we are seeing the burden of health loss shift from mortality to disability. Studies like this help us understand which diseases and conditions are the largest contributors to health loss across the country. As the population continues to age, it will be important to monitor not only mortality and the prevalence of diseases and injuries but also the impact these diseases and injuries have on the health experience of Canadians.”
The planning of health care system and public health will be an important part as the population continues to age in order to have more people living longer despite multiple diseases.
College Students: Stigma Around the Mental Health
Mental health diagnosis and treatments among college students increased significantly in the past ten years. More than one-third of students reported a diagnosed condition according to a study published in the Psychiatric Services in Advance.
The nationwide study includes data from the Health Minds Study, which has data from more than 150 000 students across 196 campuses in the US. The study found that mental health diagnosis increased by 22% to 36%. Treatments increased from 19% to 34%, including both medications and therapy. Also, mental health stigma decreased among students from 64% to 46%.
Stigma was measured by agreement with the statement “most people think less of a person who has received mental health treatment,” and personal stigma was measured by agreement with the following statement “I would think less of a person who has received mental health treatment.” According to authors of the study:
“The trends revealed in this study have strained counseling centers across the country, as many are under-resourced and operate at full capacity with waitlists for much of the year.”
Authors suggest that in addition to expanding the capacity of providing mental health services, it is important to increase the use of “preventive and digital mental health services, such as those delivered via mobile apps,” which could also help address the need of those who suffer.
How Diet Impacts Health and Well-Being?
Tsimane, the indigenous group of people living in the Bolivian Amazon have no heart diseases, minimal hypertension, their cholesterol levels are healthy and they have a low prevalence of obesity. Also, the Type-2 diabetes is a rarity among the members of the indigenous groups who obviously are doing something right even though they are influenced by globalization and food markets. Researchers were interested to explore the diet of the people and to see the impact of their diet on their overall good health and well-being.
Michael Gurven, a professor of anthropology at UC Santa Barbara, co-director of the Tsimane Health and Life History Project and the author of the study said:
“Our prior work showed that the Tsimane have the healthiest hearts ever studied, so naturally there’s a lot of interest in understanding why and how. The obvious first contender is, what are they eating? And are they eating what we think is best for heart health?”
Researchers compared their diet with a diet of a typical American family. The Tsimane people’s diet had high carbohydrate and protein intake, followed by low-fat intake. Contrary to what we might think, they don’t eat a variety of foods. Approximately, two-thirds of their calories come from complex carbohydrates, such as rice and plantains. Also, 16% of their calories come from over 40 species of fish, while only 8% comes from the market.