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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 100, Issue 1, pp 14–17 | Cite as

Chronic Diseases and Risk Factors in Canada’s Northern Populations: Longitudinal and Geographic Comparisons

  • Kathleen N. Deering
  • Lisa M. Lix
  • Sharon Bruce
  • T. Kue Young
Quantitative Research

Abstract

Objective

Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide and place considerable burden on the Canadian health care system. This research investigates the self-reported prevalence of major chronic diseases and risk factors in northern Canadian populations and compares their prevalence to southern Canadian populations over time.

Methods

Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) cycle 1.1 (2000/01) and 3.1 (2005) data were used for the analyses. Respondents 20 years old or greater in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut comprised the northern Canadian sample. Respondents in the same age group in the rest of Canada comprised the southern Canadian sample. Unadjusted and adjusted weighted prevalence estimates and confidence intervals were calculated and tested for significance using z-tests.

Results

Northern Canadian respondents had significantly lower crude prevalence of self-reported hypertension, arthritis/rheumatism, diabetes, heart disease and stroke than southern Canadian respondents, although these associations did not remain significant after adjusting for age and sex. Northern Canadian respondents had significantly lower adjusted prevalence of any chronic disease. However, northern Canadian respondents had significantly higher adjusted prevalence of obesity and smoking than southern Canadian respondents at both time periods. The prevalence of any chronic disease increased significantly from 2000/01-2005 for both northern and southern Canadian respondents.

Discussion

The higher prevalence of key chronic disease risk factors in northern Canadian populations and the increasing prevalence for many chronic diseases in both southern and northern populations signal a need for continual monitoring of chronic diseases and the development of appropriate prevention and management strategies.

Key words

Chronic disease Yukon Territory Northwest Territories Nunavut surveillance health surveys 

Résumé

Objectif

Les maladies chroniques sont la principale cause de mortalité et d’invalidité dans le monde et font peser un fardeau considérable sur le système de santé canadien. Notre étude porte sur la prévalence autodéclarée des grandes maladies chroniques et de leurs facteurs de risque dans la population du Nord canadien et compare leur prévalence à celle de la population du Sud du Canada au fil du temps.

Méthode

Pour nos analyses, nous avons utilisé les données de l’Enquête sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes (ESCC), cycles 1.1 (2000–2001) et 3.1 (2005). L’échantillon du Nord se composait de répondants de 20 ans et plus du Yukon, des Territoires du Nord-Ouest et du Nunavut. L’échantillon du Sud se composait de répondants du même groupe d’âge dans le reste du Canada. Les estimations pondérées de la prévalence, rajustées et non rajustées, et les intervalles de confiance ont été calculés, et leur signification statistique testée à l’aide de tests z.

Résultats

Les répondants du Nord canadien affichaient une prévalence brute autodéclarée significativement plus faible pour l’hypertension artérielle, l’arthrite ou les rhumatismes, le diabète, les maladies coronariennes et les AVC que les répondants du Sud canadien, bien que ces associations ne soient plus significatives après rajustement des données selon l’âge et le sexe. Les répondants du Nord affichaient une prévalence rajustée significativement plus faible pour toutes les maladies chroniques. Cependant, les répondants du Nord avaient une prévalence rajustée significativement plus élevée pour l’obésité et le tabagisme que les répondants du Sud sur les deux périodes. La prévalence des maladies chroniques a significativement augmenté entre 2000–2001 et 2005, tant pour les répondants du Nord que du Sud.

Discussion

La prévalence plus élevée des facteurs de risque des grandes maladies chroniques dans la population du Nord canadien et la prévalence croissante de nombreuses maladies chroniques dans les populations du Nord et du Sud montrent qu’il est nécessaire d’assurer une surveillance continue des maladies chroniques et de mettre au point des stratégies de prévention et de traitement appropriées.

Mots clés

maladies chroniques Territoire du Yukon Territoires du Nord-Ouest Nunavut surveillance enquêtes sur la santé 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen N. Deering
    • 1
  • Lisa M. Lix
    • 2
  • Sharon Bruce
    • 3
  • T. Kue Young
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.School of Public HealthUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Community Health SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  4. 4.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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