Canadian Health Measures Survey: Household and physical measures data, 2014 and 2015
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About 4 in 10 Canadian adults aged 20 to 79 had at least slight hearing loss in one or both ears. Among this group, almost 8 in 10 were not aware that they had any hearing problems. Hearing loss was highest among adults aged 60 to 79, with about 8 in 10 affected by this condition.
These findings are from the third and fourth cycles of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), which focused on household and physical health measures of Canadians, including hearing and blood pressure.
This is the first of a series of data releases for the fourth cycle of the CHMS. The analysis in this release is based on previously published data from the third cycle (2012 and 2013), combined with newly released data from the fourth cycle (2014 and 2015).
Results from the 2012 to 2015 CHMS reveal that 40% of adults aged 20 to 79 had at least slight hearing loss in one or both ears. Hearing loss was more prevalent at older ages. Adults aged 60 to 79 (78%) were significantly more likely to have hearing loss, compared with younger adults aged 40 to 59 (40%) or aged 20 to 39 (15%). Among adults with at least slight hearing loss, 37% had unilateral hearing loss (one ear only) and the remaining 63% had bilateral hearing loss (both ears).
Bilateral hearing loss was more common in older age groups. Nearly one in three adults aged 20 to 39 with hearing loss had bilateral loss, compared with half of those aged 40 to 59, and three-quarters of those aged 60 to 79.
The results also indicate that 8% of children and youth aged 6 to 19 had at least slight hearing loss in one or both ears. The vast majority (79%) of these children and youth reported hearing loss in one ear only.
Most Canadians with measured hearing loss were not aware that they had any hearing problems. When asked, about 77% of adults, 86% of youth, and 95% of children with at least slight measured hearing loss did not report having received a diagnosis of hearing problems from a health care professional. (For more information, see "Hearing loss of Canadians, 2012 to 2015.")
Blood pressure of adults
Adults aged 20 to 79 had a measured average resting blood pressure of 113/72 mmHg (millimetres of mercury), according to data from the 2012 to 2015 CHMS. This result places the average Canadian in the normal blood pressure category (blood pressure less than 120/80 mmHg).
For both males and females, average resting blood pressure increased significantly with age. The average resting blood pressure for males aged 20 to 29 was 107/69 mmHg, compared with 123/70 mmHg for males aged 70 to 79. The average resting blood pressure for females aged 20 to 29 was 101/66 mmHg, compared with 128/70 mmHg for females aged 70 to 79.
About one-quarter of adults aged 20 to 79 had high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure was more than twice as likely to occur among adults who were overweight or obese compared with their normal-weight counterparts. Hypertension was prevalent in 30% of adults who were classified as being overweight or obese, compared with 12% of those with a normal weight.
Among adults with high blood pressure, 18% were unaware of their condition, and another 4% were aware of their condition, but were not taking medication to control it. About 14% of adults were aware of their condition and were taking high blood pressure medication, but the condition was not controlled (namely, their measured blood pressure was greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg). In turn, 65% were aware of their condition and were controlling it through medication use. (For more information, including criteria for blood pressure classifications, see "Blood pressure of adults, 2012 to 2015.")
Blood pressure of children and youth
The average resting blood pressure of children and youth aged 6 to 19 was 97/62 mmHg, according to data from the 2012 to 2015 CHMS. In this group, 93% had a measured blood pressure that was considered normal, and 7% had results considered borderline or elevated.
Children and youth who were classified as being overweight (99/62 mmHg) or obese (102/64 mmHg) had a higher average blood pressure than normal-weight children (95/61 mmHg). (For more information, including criteria for blood pressure classifications, see "Blood pressure of children and youth, 2012 to 2015.")
Note to readers
Fact sheets on various topics from the Canadian Health Measures Survey and the Canadian Community Health Survey – Annual Component are available.
The Canadian Health Measures Survey fact sheets are based on directly measured data from physical measures tests administered to about 5,800 people. Data are available at the national level only. The Canadian Community Health Survey – Annual Component fact sheets are based on the self-reported responses of about 55,000 people, and data are available at the national, provincial, territorial and health region levels.
Weight files and instructions are available for combining data from cycle 4 of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (where possible) with equivalent data from cycles 1 to 3.
The fact sheets "Hearing loss of Canadians, 2012 to 2015," "Blood pressure of adults, 2012 to 2015" and "Blood pressure of children and youth, 2012 to 2015," which are part of the publication Health Fact Sheets (82-625-X), are now available from the Browse by Key resource module of our website, under Publications.
For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).
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