Statistics Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Definitions and data sources

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Statistics Canada obtains its health indicators data from various sources, as does the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

Definitions are presented below according to the Health Indicator Framework.

Health status
Non–medical determinants of health
Health system performance
Community and health system characteristics
Equity (Disparity)

1. Health status

1.1 Well-being

Perceived health
Perceived mental health
Perceived life stress

1.2 Health conditions

Adult body mass index
Youth body mass index
High blood pressure
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Pain or discomfort that prevents activities
Pain or discomfort by severity
Mood disorders
Low birth weight
High birth weight
Small for gestational age
Large for gestational age
Pre-term births
Cancer incidence
Injury hospitalization (CIHI)
Hospitalized stroke event rate (CIHI)
Hospitalized Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) event rate (CIHI)

1.3 Human function

Functional health
Participation and activity limitation
Disability–free life expectancy
Disability–adjusted life expectancy
Health–adjusted life expectancy

1.4 Deaths

Infant mortality
Perinatal mortality
Life expectancy
Total mortality
All diseases of the circulatory system deaths
All malignant neoplasms (cancer) deaths
All diseases of the respiratory system deaths
Unintentional injury deaths
AIDS deaths
Potential Years of Life Lost
for provincial/territorial level time-series (PYLL)
for total mortality(PYLL)
for all cancer deaths (PYLL)
for all circulatory disease deaths (PYLL)
for all respiratory disease deaths (PYLL)
for unintentional injuries (PYLL)
AIDS deaths(PYLL)

2. Non-medical determinants of health

2.1 Health behaviours

Heavy drinking
Physical activity during leisure time
Breastfeeding practices
Fruit and vegetable consumption
Bicycle helmet use

2.2 Living and working conditions

High school graduates
Post–secondary graduates
Unemployment rate
Long–term unemployment rate
Low income rate
Children in low–income families
Average personal income
Median share of income
Government transfer income
Housing affordability
Crime incidents
Adults and Youth Charged
Household food insecurity

2.3 Personal resources

Sense of community belonging
Life satisfaction

2.4 Environmental factors

Exposure to second–hand smoke at home
Exposure to second–hand smoke in vehicles and public places
Lead concentration
Bisphenol A concentration
Mercury concentration

3. Health system performance

3.1 Acceptability

Patient satisfaction (and quality rating of services received)

3.2 Accessibility

Influenza immunization
Pap smear test
Colorectal cancer screening
Regular medical doctor
Wait time for hip fracture surgery (Proportion with surgery within 48 hours) (CIHI)

3.3 Appropriateness

Caesarean section (CIHI)
Patients with repeat hospitalizations for mental illness (CIHI)

3.4 Continuity

30-Day readmission rate for mental illness (CIHI)

3.5 Effectiveness

Ambulatory care sensitive conditions (CIHI)
30–day Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) in–hospital mortality rate
30–day Stroke in-hospital mortality rate
Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) readmission rate
Asthma readmission rate
Hysterectomy readmission rate
Prostatectomy readmission rate
Self-injury hospitalization rate (CIHI)

3.6 Safety

Hospitalized hip fracture event rate (CIHI)
In–hospital hip fracture (CIHI)

4. Community and health system characteristics

4.1 Community

Population estimates
Population density
Dependency ratio
Aboriginal population
Immigrant population
Internal migrant mobility
Metropolitan influenced zones (MIZ)
Lone-parent families
Visible minority population

4.2 Health system

Inflow/outflow ratio (CIHI)
Coronary artery bypass graft (CIHI)
Percutaneous coronary intervention (CIHI)
Cardiac revascularization (CIHI)
Hip replacement (CIHI)
Knee replacement (CIHI)
Hysterectomy (CIHI)
Contact with alternative health care providers
Contact with a medical doctor
Contact with health professionals about mental health
Contact with dental professionals
Mental illness hospitalization rate (CIHI)
Mental illness patient days rate (CIHI)

4.3 Resources

Doctors (CIHI)

5. Equity (Disparity)

Disparity rate ratio (CIHI)
Potential rate reduction (CIHI)