Invisible Illness Awareness Week

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 10-16th is Invisible Illness Awareness Week and an excellent chance to raise awareness and discussion about the numerous unseen conditions that people battle every day. Chronic invisible illnesses are extremely prevalent in our society, estimates that as many as 1 in 2 people in the USA has a chronic condition, and the Canadian Coalition for Public Health has similar numbers for us northerners. 

You may be curious then, as to what qualifies as a chronic disease? Generally speaking, any long term disease which requires ongoing management can be considered a chronic illness. This includes cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, respiratory illness, mental health disorders, arthritis, fibromyalgia, COPD, lupus and a great host of other conditions. 

With such a large amount of people living with chronic illnesses there is obviously a huge impact on our personal lives and the economy. A couple of quick facts about invisible illnesses:

  • The divorce rate among the chronically ill is over 75%
  • Depression is 15-20% higher for the chronically ill than for the average person 
  • Chronic diseases cost the Canadian economy 77 billion dollars a year
  • 65% of Canadians have at least one factor that puts them at risk for chronic disease and many have more than one
Take some time this week to learn more about chronic illnesses and to support those who live with them. A good place to start is reading these personal blogs featuring "30 things about my invisible illness you may not know"


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