British Columbians lead the way in healthy living: Report

British Columbians lead the way in healthy living   VICTORIA – British Columbians continue to live long and healthy  lives, according to the 2010 Vital Statistics Annual Report from the  Ministry of Health.   Life expectancy in B.C. remains the highest in Canada at 81.7 years  for 2006-10, up from 81.4 for 2005-09. B.C.’s population also grew  naturally by 13,647 in 2010, or at rate of 2.8 per thousand.   The report states cancer death rates in B.C. are falling, supporting  the Province’s leadership in cancer care, prevention and treatment  resulting in some of the best cancer outcomes in the world. Heart  disease mortality rates are lower and death rates from Alzheimer’s,  Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis have dropped to 1994 levels.   However, mortality rates for chronic diseases like diabetes have  increased slightly from 2009. This further supports the need for the  Province’s comprehensive Healthy Families BC strategy, which helps  families make the healthy choice the easy choice.   At 55, the number of HIV deaths in B.C. in 2010 is down from 63 in  2009, and the lowest since 1995. This lower figure can be attributed  to 30 years of leading-edge research along with community and health  system efforts, which have helped turn HIV/AIDS from what was once a  deadly epidemic into a chronic but manageable condition.   B.C. is the only province in Canada that is demonstrating a  consistent decline in HIV. The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS,  under the leadership of Dr. Julio Montaner, plays a crucial role in  research and treatment, positioning B.C. as a world leader in the  fight against HIV/AIDS.   The vital statistics document also found that just more than half  the 2010 births in British Columbia were from mothers aged 30-39. In  recent decades there has also been a gradual increase in multiple  birth rates in B.C., rising from 1.9 per cent of all live births in  1986 to 3.2 per cent in 2010.   The 139th edition of the Vital Statistics Annual Report contains  information collected from registrations of births, deaths, and  marriages that happened in 2010. Information from the report is used  for various aspects of health planning, research and education.   Quotes:   Minister of Health Michael de Jong –  “This report demonstrates the importance of health prevention and  awareness policies and how many British Columbians can lead long and  healthy lives. We will continue to help and encourage people to move  forward on this path, which builds healthy families and communities  and takes the financial strain off the health-care system.”   Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Perry Kendall –   “It’s very encouraging to see lower mortality rates for cancer and  heart disease in British Columbia. It’s my hope that even more  people will be able to make choices that will reduce the risk  factors for chronic disease, such as more exercise and eating  reasonably well.”   Learn More:   The 2010 Vital Statistics Annual report can be found at:  www.vs.gov.bc.ca/stats/annual/2010.