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A Canadian peer-reviewed journal of population health and health services research

March 2009

Cancer prevalence in the Canadian population

by Larry F. Ellison and Kathryn Wilkins

Information on the prevalence of cancer in a population is important to health care planning. People diagnosed with cancer require treatment, monitoring for recurrence, and screening for other cancers. As well, they run the risk of permanent impairment or disability. Cancer prevalence data provide an overall indication of the demand for cancer-related health care and social services and can be used to plan the future allocation of these resources.

Medication use among senior Canadians

by Pamela L. Ramage-Morin

Prescription medications, over-the-counter (OTC) products, and natural and alternative medicines are widely used in Canada, especially by seniors. But while medications play an important role in health care and disease management, their use is not without risk.

February 2009

The natural history of health-related quality of life: A 10-year cohort study

by Heather M. Orpana, Nancy Ross, David Feeny, Bentson McFarland, Julie Bernier and Mark Kaplan

In Canada, as in most developed countries, the average age of the population and life expectancies are increasing. The resulting demographic shift toward a population with a larger proportion of older adults has directed attention to understanding how health evolves among adults from mid- to later life. Whether the population is experiencing a compression of morbidity, with ill health being confined to the last few years before death, or an expansion of morbidity with the additional years of life lived with disease, disability and loss of quality of life, has implications for society as a whole and for the health care system.

Combining cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey

by Steven Thomas and Brenda Wannell

The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) consists of two cross-sectional sample surveys. The .1 cycle collects general health information from more than 120 health regions, while the .2 cycle focuses on specific health topics and collects data for estimation at the provincial level.

January 2009

Evaluation of the coverage of linked Canadian Community Health Survey and hospital inpatient records

by Michelle Rotermann

Record linkage is used in health studies to obtain more complete information, to fill gaps in existing datasets, and/or to improve data quality. For instance, prospective death clearance of survey respondents, study cohorts or administrative data sources, such as inpatient hospital records, have made it possible to study associations between death and factors such as lifestyle, occupation, treatment modalities, patient histories and geography.

Income and psychological distress: The role of the social environment

by Heather M. Orpana, Louise Lemyre and Ronald Gravel

A large body of research has focused on the poorer physical health of individuals with low income, and important differences in the mental health of these groups can also be observed. Much of this research, however, has been cross-sectional, making it difficult to determine whether low income or poor mental health comes first. As well, few studies have looked at this relationship in the Canadian context.