Canadian Community Health Survey
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In 2010, 6 in 10 Canadians, or 17.3 million people, aged 12 and older assessed their health as very good or excellent. At the same time, new data indicated some shifts in the health of the population.
High blood pressure
In 2010, nearly 1 in 6 Canadians aged 12 or older (17%) reported they had been diagnosed with hypertension, or high blood pressure.
Generally, for both men and women, this rate has been steadily increasing over the last decade. However, for the first time since these data have been collected by the survey, men and women reported the same rate of hypertension. Prior to 2010, women were more likely than men to report that they had been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Individuals who were obese were more likely to have high blood pressure than those who were not obese. In 2010, one-third of Canadians who were obese had high blood pressure, compared with 15% of those who were not obese.
Smoking and second-hand smoke at home
In 2010, 6.0 million people, or 21% of the population aged 12 or older smoked either daily or occasionally.
Almost one-quarter of males (24%) smoked either daily or occasionally, a one percentage point increase over the previous year and a return to 2008 levels.
Nearly 1 in 6 females aged 12 or older (17%) smoked either daily or occasionally, down from 19% in 2008.
Note to readers
This release presents data from the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), featuring information on more than 30 health indicators.
This analysis covers selected health indicators on perceived health, smoking, second-hand smoke at home, access to a regular medical doctor (family doctor or specialist), physical activity during leisure time, obesity, high blood pressure, drinking, fruit and vegetable consumption, diabetes, asthma, arthritis and perceived life stress.
The CCHS is an on-going survey that collects a wide range of information about the health status of Canadians, factors determining their health status and their use of health care services. The results are released yearly. Approximately 65,000 respondents were interviewed for the survey in 2010. Data for all indicators are available at the national, provincial and territorial level, as well as for the 117 health regions across Canada.
Residents of Indian reserves, health care institutions, some remote areas and full-time members of the Canadian Forces were excluded.
The percentage of teenage smokers aged 16 to 19 decreased from 29% in 2001 to 20% in 2005. Since then, the rate has remained relatively stable.
Since people typically begin smoking during their teenage years, the percentage who had not started smoking by age 20 is an indicator of future smoking rates. In 2010, 57% of women aged 20 to 24 had never smoked, a considerable increase from 41% in 2003. Among men in the same age group, 45% had never smoked, also a considerable increase from 37% in 2003.
Among Canadians who had never smoked, 65% reported very good or excellent health, compared with 60% of former smokers and 51% of current smokers.
The rate of second-hand smoke exposure in the home has traditionally been the highest among 12 to 19 year-olds, the youngest group covered by the survey. In 2010, about 15% of these young people were exposed to second-hand smoke at home, a proportion significantly lower than in 2003 (23%).
Access to a regular medical doctor
In 2010, 4.4 million people, or 15% of the population aged 12 and older, reported that they did not have a regular medical doctor.
Correction: More than one quarter of those aged 20 to 34 (27%) were without a regular medical doctor, a percentage steadily declining as age increases. In comparison, nearly 1 in 5 Canadians aged 35 to 44 (18%) and 5% of seniors 65 years old and over were without a regular medical doctor.
In 2010, as in previous years, men were generally more likely than women to report being without a regular doctor.
Of the 4.4 million Canadians without a regular medical doctor in 2010, more than 8 in 10 (82%) reported that they had a usual place to go when they needed medical care or health advice. A majority (62%) reported using a walk-in clinic, while another 13% visited a hospital emergency room.
Correction: In 2010, as in previous years, just over half of those without a regular medical doctor (53%) had tried unsuccessfully to find one. Among these, 40% said that doctors in their area were not taking new patients, 31% said that their doctor had retired or left the area and 27% said that no doctors were available in their area.
Fruits and vegetables
For the first time since 2001, the survey found that fruit and vegetable consumption declined in 2010. About 43% of Canadians aged 12 or older reported that they consumed fruit and vegetables five or more times each day, down from 46% in 2009.
In 2010, women in all age groups were more likely to consume fruit and vegetables five or more times a day than men. Half of all women followed this consumption pattern compared with 36% of men.
Overweight and obesity
In 2010, 18% of Canadians aged 18 or older, roughly 4.5 million adults, reported height and weight that classified them as obese according to the Health Canada guidelines on Body Mass Index. This was virtually unchanged from 2009.
Between 2003 and 2010, obesity among men rose from 16% to nearly 20%, and among women, from 15% to 18%.
Overweight and obesity represent an increased health risk among the adult population. In 2010, more than half of the adult population (52%) reported height and weight that classified them as either obese or overweight (61% of men and 44% of women), up from 49% in 2003.
Between the ages of 20 to 54, men were more likely to be obese than women. Among both sexes, youth aged 18 and 19 had the lowest obesity rates.
In 2010, nearly one-quarter (24%) of Canadians aged 15 or older reported that most days were extremely or quite stressful, up from 22% in 2008.
Women were more likely to report stress, particularly in younger age groups. Overall, one-quarter of women reported that most days were quite or extremely stressful, compared with 22% of males.
Daily stress rates were highest in the core working ages 35 to 54 with about 30% reporting stress.
Available on CANSIM: tables 105-0501 and 105-0503.
Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3226.
For more statistics and analysis on the health of Canadians and the health care system, visit the Health in Canada module. This module is accessible from our homepage, under Features.
Many products featuring the most recent results from the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey are now available online from the Key resource module of our website under Publications. The publication Health Fact Sheets (82-625-X, free) is available. The Health Trends (82-213-X, free) online application, which provides a time-series view of health data at provincial, territorial and national level is also available. You can also consult the latest electronic issue of Health Indicators, 2011, no. 2 (82-221-X, free), which includes a set of more than 80 health indicators for Canada, the provinces and territories, and the health regions
Combined data for 2009 and 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey and other related products will be available on June 28.
For more information about the Canadian Community Health Survey, 2010, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Client Services (613-951-1746; firstname.lastname@example.org), Health Statistics Division.
For additional information on this release, contact Media Relations (613-951-4636), Communications Division.
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