The economic benefits of risk factor reduction in British Columbia: Excess weight, physical inactivity and tobacco smoking

The report estimates the current provincial and regional prevalence rates of three chronic disease risk factors: excess weight (obesity and overweight), physical inactivity, and tobacco smoking, as well as the direct health-care costs and indirect productivity losses associated with each of the risk factors. Understanding the current costs of these risk factors and how these costs might change in coming years can help inform both immediate and long-term planning.

The study estimates that across BC in 2013, the annual economic burden attributable to these three risk factors totaled $5.6 billion: $1.8 billion in direct health-care costs and $3.8 billion due to disability and premature death. We estimate that if the prevalence of each of these three risk factors is reduced by a relative 1% annually until 2036, British Columbia could avoid a cumulative $15.0 billion in direct and indirect costs.

The provincial report is now posted on the PHSA Population and Public Health website.

– Provincial Health Services Authority