These are Chapter 4 Notes from the textbook

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1 Mar 2011
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Chapter Four: Health Status in Canada
Introduction
Health status refers to determinants of health such as: health conditions, human
function, and deaths
Key indicators of health status include life expectancy, mortality rates, and
causes of death
Social determinants of health include health behaviours, living and working
conditions, personal resources, and environmental factors
Others include peace, social support and family violence
Specifically they are income, employment, education, child care, and housing
Selected Indicators of Health Status
Life Expectancy
Life expectancy has increased in Canada over the last century
Refer to Table 4.2 on page 59
Female life expectancy over a 70-year period has always been higher than men
The gap between them had increased from 2.1 to 6.3 years in a 60-year
period, but then has narrowed down to 5.1 between 1999-2001
Life expectancy for males is highest in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta,
and British Columbia (75) and lowest in Prince Edward Island (73)
Life expectancy for females is highest in Saskatchewan (82) and lowest in Nova
Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador (80)
Mortality Rates
A great decrease in infant mortality rates is responsible for most of the increase in
life expectancy in Canada over the last century
Maternal death rates have also declined significantly
It can be attributed to improvements in the standard of living over time,
medical advances and better access to health care
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The leading causes of death in infants (under 1 year of age) are perinatal conditions,
which include factors related to gestation and respiratory distress, congenital
anomalies, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Child mortality rates have decreased over time
The leading cause of death in this age group is injury (transport is leading)
Congenital anomalies fall in second for years 1-4
Cancer is third leading cause
Women with lower socioeconomic status have higher rates of maternal death
Aboriginal Canadians experience higher infant death rates and the children are
more likely to experience injuries
For adults, the leading cause of death in 1995 was heart disease
Risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity
Social Determinants of Health
SDOHs are as influential on the health status as behaviour and medical care
Canadians with low incomes are less likely to rate their health as excellent in
comparison to those with high incomes
They have short life expectancies and are more likely to be ill
Illness is caused by a complex web of influences ranging from the individual to the
societal
epidemiological theory seeks to examine what makes societies healthy or ill
through consideration of factors such as time, place, and environment
The social construction of inequalities connected to race, class, and gender has been
neglected
A study showed that people living in the poorest 20 percent of neighbourhoods were
more likely to die of common diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes
than those in wealthier communities
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