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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 96, Issue 4, pp 287–290 | Cite as

Child and Adolescent Health in Northern Ontario

A Quantitative Profile for Public Health Planning
  • Mary S. WardEmail author
  • Vic S. Sahai
  • Kate C. Tilleczek
  • Jennifer L. Fearn
  • Robert C. Barnett
  • Tim Zmijowskyj
Commentary

Abstract

Health in Northern Ontario is poorer than in the province of Ontario. Late childhood is the period in which adult habits and health behaviours are solidified, thus, health indicators are important to guide the development and implementation of disease prevention strategies. The Northern Ontario Child and Youth Health Report evaluated the health of children in Northern Ontario. The importance of public health planning is presented with the value of health status information for youth. The hospitalization rate for Northern Ontario youths was higher than for Ontario. In both areas, injuries and poisonings were the leading cause of hospitalization (7–13 year olds), however rates in the North were higher. Hospitalizations for injuries and poisonings were double the provincial rate in 14–19 year olds. The mortality rate for all youth was significantly higher. Health risk behaviour prevalence (e.g., alcohol consumption) was higher in the region. Current data emphasize the need for primordial and primary prevention in regional health planning and are also useful in secondary and tertiary prevention. Data for public health planning is critical to address population health needs and prevent chronic diseases.

MeSH terms

Social conditions family health public health health status mortality morbidity 

Résumé

L’état de santé est moins bon dans le Nord de l’Ontario que dans l’ensemble de la province. La deuxième enfance est la période durant laquelle se solidifient les habitudes et les comportements adultes liés à la santé, d’où l’importance des indicateurs de la santé pour orienter l’élaboration et la mise en ouvre de stratégies de prévention des maladies. Le Rapport sur la santé des enfants et des adolescents du Nord-Ontario souligne l’importance de la planification en santé publique et l’utilité des données sur l’état de santé des jeunes. Ce rapport indique que le taux d’hospitalisation des jeunes dans le Nord de l’Ontario est supérieur à celui de l’Ontario dans son ensemble. Dans les deux populations, les blessures et les empoisonnements sont les principales causes d’hospitalisation (chez les 7 à 13 ans), mais les taux dans le Nord sont plus élevés. Chez les 14 à 19 ans, le taux d’hospitalisation pour blessures et empoisonnements dans le Nord de l’Ontario est le double du taux provincial, et le taux de mortalité pour l’ensemble des jeunes est sensiblement plus élevé. La prévalence des comportements présentant un risque pour la santé (comme la consommation d’alcool) est également supérieure dans le Nord. Les données actuelles confirment la nécessité de la prévention primordiale et primaire dans la planification sanitaire régionale et peuvent aussi servir à la prévention secondaire et tertiaire. Il est essentiel de disposer de données de planification en santé publique pour répondre aux besoins de santé de la population et prévenir les maladies chroniques.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary S. Ward
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vic S. Sahai
    • 1
  • Kate C. Tilleczek
    • 2
  • Jennifer L. Fearn
    • 3
  • Robert C. Barnett
    • 1
  • Tim Zmijowskyj
    • 4
  1. 1.Northern Health Information PartnershipNorthern Ontario Medical SchoolSudburyCanada
  2. 2.Dept. of Sociology, Laurentian UniversityCentre for Rural and Northern Health ResearchCanada
  3. 3.Northern Health Information PartnershipCanada
  4. 4.Northern Ontario Medical SchoolCanada

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