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The 2006 Census counted 1,172,790 people who reported Aboriginal identity–that is, North American Indian (or First Nations people), Métis or Inuit. North American Indians represented 60% of the Aboriginal population with 698,025 people, Métis accounted for 33% with 389,785 individuals, and Inuit accounted for 0.4% with 50,480 people.
The 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey asked respondents to rate their health on a five–point scale ranging from excellent to poor. In 2006, 58% of Métis adults stated that their health was excellent or very good, unchanged from 2001. Self–rated health was similar for men and women.
The total Canadian population aged 35 and older rated their health as excellent or very good more often than their Métis counterparts did. For example, 52% of the total Canadian population aged 55 to 64 rated their health as excellent or very good, compared with 40% of Métis in this age group. However, among young people aged 15 to 19, three–quarters of Métis rated their health as excellent or very good, compared with almost two–thirds of the total population.
In 2006, just over half (54%) of all Métis aged 15 and older reported that they had been diagnosed with a chronic condition, about the same as in 2001. The most commonly reported chronic health conditions among Métis adults were arthritis or rheumatism, high blood pressure and asthma. In all three cases, rates among Métis were higher than they were in the Canadian population, after standardizing for age.
About 14% of Métis reported asthma, almost double the 8% in the total population, while about 7% reported diabetes, compared with 4%.
Just over one–fifth (21%) of the Métis population reported arthritis or rheumatism and 16% reported high blood pressure, compared with 13% and 12% in the Canadian population.
These proportions for Métis were similar to those reported in 2001. Métis women were slightly more likely than men to indicate they had at least one chronic condition, and women were also more likely to report two or more.
In most age groups, a higher proportion of Métis than the Canadian population reported they had been diagnosed with a chronic condition. In most cases, the proportion of Métis with a chronic condition was double that of the Canadian population.
The most commonly reported chronic condition of Métis teens aged 15 to 19 was asthma, at 20%. This was almost double the 11% in the same age group in the Canadian population.
Among Métis aged 45 to 54, 32% reported arthritis and/or rheumatism and 24% high blood pressure, compared with 17% and 16% in the total population. Among seniors aged 65 and older, the prevalence of arthritis and/or rheumatism and of high blood pressure were similar in the Métis and the total population.
Few family doctors
About 81% of Métis reported they had access to a family doctor, slightly less than the total population. This figure was slightly lower for Métis men than women, again similar to the total population. Métis women were also slightly more likely than men to rate the availability of a family doctor as poor.