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Health Reports, March 2022

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Released: 2022-03-16

The March 2022 issue of Health Reports contains two articles.

Two-thirds of Canadian adults report high sleep quality

Three-quarters of Canadian adults aged 18 to 64 and half of Canadian adults aged 65 and older meet sleep duration recommendations. Two-thirds of Canadian adults report high sleep quality. The article "Sleep behaviours among Canadian adults: Findings from the 2020 Canadian Community Health Survey healthy living rapid response module" also shows that the majority of Canadian adults report that their sleep duration and wake-up times vary between work days and non-work days. In addition, most report using electronic devices in the 30 minutes before falling asleep (68% of adults aged 18 to 64, and 60% of older adults).

These findings, based on data collected just before the COVID-19 pandemic (January to March 2020) within the healthy living rapid response module of the Canadian Community Health Survey, provide a benchmark for the sleep health of Canadians before the pandemic. Further surveillance and research are needed to assess the impact of the pandemic on sleep behaviour.

Good sleep habits, which include adequate sleep duration, good sleep quality and sleep consistency, are associated with positive short-term and long-term health benefits. The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines recommend that adults aged 18 to 64 get 7 to 9 hours of good-quality sleep on a regular basis, with consistent sleep and wake times for health benefits. The sleep duration recommendation for adults aged 65 and older is 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

More than half a million Canadians are living with a recent cancer diagnosis

In 2018, over half a million people in Canada (excluding Quebec, see note to readers) had been diagnosed with cancer over the past five years. This new finding is from the article "Short-term cancer prevalence in Canada, 2018," which provides two- and five-year prevalence estimates on January 1, 2018, for over 20 of the most commonly diagnosed cancers. In particular, special attention is given to the relationship between short-term cancer prevalence, age and sex.

The four most prevalent cancer types (breast, prostate, lung and colorectal) accounted for close to half of the total count of cancer cases. The prevalence counts were higher among females before age 60 and higher among males thereafter. This is largely because two cancer types that affect females much more than males (breast and thyroid cancer) tend to be diagnosed at younger ages than the most common cancer types among males (such as prostate cancer).

Cancer prevalence, which provides a measure of the number of cancer cases in the population on a given date, is a useful indicator for monitoring the extent to which cancer affects a population. In particular, short-term prevalence (two to five years after an initial diagnosis) is crucial for estimating health care costs, planning treatment needs and assessing the risk of recurrence of certain types of cancer.

In addition to the Health Reports article, a table (table 13-10-0751-01) reporting prevalence estimates by duration, sex, age group and province or territory for over 50 different types of cancer is being updated today.

  Note to readers

Data are from the Canadian Cancer Registry (CCR), with mortality follow-up to December 31, 2017, through record linkage to the Canadian Vital Statistics Death Database and the income tax file known as the T1 Personal Master File.

Cancer incidence data for Quebec have not been submitted to the CCR since the 2010 diagnosis year. Cancer prevalence estimates for Canada, excluding Quebec, have been generated for all prevalence years from 1994 to 2018 because the series for Canada ranges only from 1994 to 2011. All reference dates coincide with January 1 of the prevalence year.


The articles "Sleep behaviours among Canadian adults: Findings from the 2020 Canadian Community Health Survey healthy living rapid response module" and "Short-term cancer prevalence in Canada, 2018" are now available in the March 2022 online issue of Health Reports, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Catalogue number82-003-X).

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