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by Lisa Lix, Sharon Bruce, Joykrishna Sarkar and T. Kue Young
In Canada, the prevalence of behavioural risk factors and chronic conditions differs for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations, but little research has examined changes over time. This study compares several major risk factors and chronic conditions in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations not living on reserves in the North (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut) and in southern Canada at two time points.
The data are from cycle 1.1 (2000/2001) and cycle 3.1 (2005/2006) of the Canadian Community Health Survey: 115,990 respondents aged 20 or older, and 118,716 respondents, respectively. Overall, 3.8% of respondents reported Aboriginal cultural or racial background. Crude prevalence estimates, adjusted odds ratios, and bootstrap-derived confidence intervals were calculated for seven risk factors and nine chronic conditions at each time point.
In 2000/2001, Aboriginal people in the North were more likely than those in southern Canada to be obese, smoke daily and have infrequent physical activity, but less likely report a number of chronic conditions. Between 2000/2001 and 2005/2006, the odds of reporting risk factors increased among Aboriginal people in the North, and differences in the prevalence of chronic diseases were less pronounced. Few differences between non-Aboriginal respondents in the North and in southern Canada were observed.
Compared with southern Canada, the profile of health is changing more rapidly for Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal populations in the North, and appears to be worsening for the former.
chronic disease, drinking behaviour, exercise, health surveys, morbidity, obesity, smoking
In Canada, the prevalence of behavioural risk factors and chronic conditions varies between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations, with Aboriginal people generally having less favourable outcomes. For example, obesity and overweight are more common among Aboriginal people than among other groups. Also, the likelihood of having at least one chronic condition and specifi c conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes is higher among Aboriginal people, even when differences in sociodemographic characteristics are taken into account. [Full text]
Lisa M. Lix (1-306-966-1617; firstname.lastname@example.org) is with the School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, 107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5E5; Sharon Bruce and Joykrishna Sarkar are with the Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba; and T. Kue Young is with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.