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New Initiative--Tracking Chronic Disease Risk Factors, Ontario Health Alliance Launches

More than half of all Ontarians are living with one or more chronic conditions, which are the leading cause of death in the province.  The Ontario Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (OCDPA), a coalition of more than 20 health-related organizations, today launches a multi-year initiative to capture, track and compare risk factors for chronic disease in Ontario.  

  • 90% of Canadians 65 and over live with at least one chronic disease or condition, including dementia and depression
  • 79% of all deaths in the province are attributable to cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory disease or diabetes .
  • 40% of Ontario’s health care costs are related to unhealthy behaviours and socioeconomic barriers, costing $134 billion over 10 years

This new framework gathers existing data on key risk factors for chronic diseases, assembles it in one easy reference and provides a baseline for future measurement. Focusing on unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, high risk alcohol use, and mental illness, it can serve as a key planning tool for government, as well as organizations, researchers and individuals involved in preventing  chronic disease.

Through extensive consultation with experts, a total of 52 indicators were identified across these five risk factors. The most recent Ontario data have been assembled and organized into a presentation with key policy implications identified. The OCDPA recognized the importance of identifying a list of indicators and associated measures pertaining to the five risk factors with an emphasis on selecting indicators that are indicative of quality, accessibility and relevance to the Ontario context.

The full report, along with easy to share infographics for each of the risk factors can be found at