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Health Reports

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

September 2010

An update on cancer survivalAn update on cancer survival

by Larry F. Ellison and Kathryn Wilkins

A diagnosis of cancer does not usually mean that death is imminent. The five-year survival of Canadians diagnosed with invasive cancer is predicted to be, on average, 62% of that of an otherwise similar group of people without cancer. Of course, the term “cancer” is used to refer to myriad malignancies—each of which confers a distinct illness and prognosis. Some cancers are far more lethal, and within a shorter time-span, than are others.

Regional patterns of risk for sexually transmitted infections in British ColumbianRegional patterns of risk for sexually transmitted infections in British Columbia

by Kathleen N. Deering, Mark W. Tyndall and Mieke Koehoorn

Since 1997, rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have risen in Canada. In 2007, there were 224.0 reported cases of genital chlamydia per 100,000 population, up more than 70% from 1997. The rate of gonorrhea in 2007 was much lower―36.1 cases per 100,000 population―but it was more than 120% above the 1997 rate. And while reported cases of infectious syphilis were relatively rare, with a rate of 3.7 per 100,000 population in 2007, this amounted to a fivefold increase over 1997.

August 2010

Lead and bisphenol A concentrations in the Canadian populationLead and bisphenol A concentrations in the Canadian population

by Tracey Bushnik, Douglas Haines, Patrick Levallois, Johanne Levesque, Jay Van Oostdam and Claude Viau

Every day, people are exposed to natural and manmade chemicals―in the air, food and water, and consumer products. These chemicals can enter the body through ingestion, inhalation, and/or dermal contact. They may be essential nutrients or toxic compounds. Human biomonitoring is an effective way to provide baseline information about levels of exposure to environmental chemicals, and can help determine usual exposure and changes over time. It involves the direct measurement of chemicals or their metabolites in blood, urine, other bodily fluids or tissues. From March 2007 through February 2009, the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) collected biomonitoring data from a nationally representative sample of the population.

Hospitalization risk in a type 2 diabetes cohort Hospitalization risk in a type 2 diabetes cohort

by Edward Ng, Kimberlyn M. McGrail and Jeffrey A. Johnson

In recent years, diabetes-related mortality has increased, an increase that has been linked to an upturn in the prevalence of obesity. Diabetes is currently the sixth leading cause of death in Canada. In 2005, approximately 1.3 million Canadians aged 12 or older (5% of the population in that age range) reported that they had been diagnosed with the disease. The complications of diabetes can attack every major organ. Because of its wide-ranging impact on the health of individuals and the economic burden it places on the health care system, diabetes is recognized as a major public health problem.

14-year diabetes incidence:  The role of socio-economic status14-year diabetes incidence: The role of socio-economic status

by Nancy A. Ross, Heather Gilmour and Kaberi Dasgupta

The global prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D), estimated at 6.4% in 2010, is expected to be close to 8% by 2030. The increase in prevalence is thought to be due largely to population aging and rising rates of overweight, obesity and physical inactivity. The prevalence of T2D has also been shown to be strongly patterned by socioeconomic status (SES), particularly among women. American data also suggest that the SES gap in diabetes prevalence has widened over time.

July 2010

Validation of self-rated mental healthValidation of self-rated mental health

by Farah N. Mawani and Heather Gilmour

Studies of the extent to which the widely used measure, self-rated health, captures mental health suggest the need for a specific self-rated mental health (SRMH) measure. In fact, a number of surveys in Canada and worldwide have used such a measure: for example, the Ontario Health Survey: Mental Health Supplement; the Canadian Community Health Survey; and the World Mental Health Initiative Surveys in 28 countries.

Health-promoting factors and good health among Canadians in mid- to late lifeHealth-promoting factors and good health among Canadians in mid- to late life

by Pamela L. Ramage-Morin, Margot Shields and Laurent Martel

Like many nations, Canada is about to face an unprecedented era of population aging. From 8% fifty years ago, it is projected that Canadian seniors will comprise 23% to 25% of the population in about 25 years’ time.1 A major contributor to this demographic shift is the baby-boom cohort, defined as those born from 1946 to 1965. The senior ranks will swell rapidly starting in 2011 when the first baby-boomers turn 65. Based on data from the 2009 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)― Healthy Aging, this article addresses issues faced by the senior population, comparing them with people in the 45 to 64 age range.