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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 95–98 | Cite as

The North-South Gradient in Health: Analytic Applications for Public Health

  • Paul J. VeugelersEmail author
  • Alexandra M. Yip
  • Daojun Mo
Article

Abstract

Health in the northern territories does not reach that of national standards. Investigations in these areas are hampered by small population size, which limits both the identification of local health problems as well as the planning and prioritizing of prevention and interventions. We report on health deficiencies of the northern territories and illustrate how our analytic applications supplement traditional approaches to benefit public health objectives. We reveal that life expectancy in Northern Canada has increased such that health deficiencies between the North and South have decreased substantially, although they still persist at a high level. The current health status of Northwest Territories residents approximates that of Canadians 15 to 25 years ago. In addition, while chronic diseases were previously less of a concern for Northwest Territories residents, they show increasing trends in importance. This is of particular significance in light of an aging population in the northern territories.

Résumé

L’état de santé des résidents du Nord n’égale pas celui des Canadiens en général. Les enquêtes sur les problèmes locaux de santé sont entravées par la petite taille de la population, qui nuit à la fois au recensement des problèmes, à la planification de la prévention et des interventions et à la détermination des priorités. Notre étude rend compte des lacunes des territoires du Nord sur le plan de la santé et illustre la façon dont nos applications analytiques peuvent compléter les méthodes traditionnelles et contribuer à l’atteinte des objectifs de santé publique. Nous démontrons que l’espérance de vie dans le Nord du Canada a augmenté dans une proportion telle que les écarts entre le Nord et le Sud sur le plan de la santé ont considérablement diminué, bien qu’ils soient encore importants. L’état de santé actuel des résidents des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (T.N.-O.) s’apparente à celui des Canadiens il y a 15 ou 25 ans. Par ailleurs, les maladies chroniques, qui étaient auparavant un problème mineur chez les résidents des T.N.-O., gagnent en importance. Cela pose un problème particulier, étant donné le vieillissement de la population dans les territoires nordiques.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul J. Veugelers
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexandra M. Yip
    • 1
  • Daojun Mo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Faculty of MedicineDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Department of Health and Social ServicesGovernment of the Northwest TerritoriesYellowknifeCanada

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