About Health Analysis Division (HAD)

Our mandate is to provide high quality, relevant, and comprehensive information on the health status of the population and on the health care system. The information is designed for a broad audience that includes health professionals, researchers, policy-makers, educators, and students.

A significant part if HAD’s research program is undertaken in collaboration with various partners, including federal ministries, health organizations, and universities.

Publishing

HAD publishes Health Reports, a peer-reviewed and indexed journal of population health and health services research. With an impact factor of 3.264, Health Reports ranked 21 out of 157 journals in the “Public, Environmental & Occupational Health” category of the Thomson Reuters  2011 Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition. The journal has an editorial board made up of internationally known health sector scholars, headed up by a scientific editor. We publish original and timely analyses of surveys or national/provincial administrative databases.

HAD also publishes the Health Research Working Paper Series which includes: analytical work-in-progress; background documentation for specific research projects; lengthy reports intended for specific clients, and; compendiums of data tables. Publication in this series does not preclude publication of specific aspects of the work in a peer-reviewed journal.

HAD analysts are also frequently published in other scientific journals. An index of HAD analysts’ other publications is available at www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2011003/pub-eng.htm.

Areas of research

Our program of work involves data development, development of methods and modeling, and research in five broadly-based health theme areas:  maternal, child, and youth health; aging; vulnerable populations; health and the environment; and behaviours, chronic disease, and cancer.   A number of analytical lenses are used including determinants, health outcomes, mortality/morbidity, heath care utilization, international comparisons, and longitudinal as well as person-oriented focuses.

Data sources

The research is based on Statistics Canada’s comprehensive suite of data on the health of Canadians and the functioning of the health system including:

  • Census data and Vital Statistics including births and deaths
  • Population surveys including the Canadian Community Health Survey, Canadian Health Measures Survey, post-censal surveys, and special surveys
  • Administrative health data such as the Discharge Abstract Database and Canadian Cancer Registry
  • Microsimulation synthetic populations

Record linkage

To meet HAD research objectives, we develop new information through record linkages. In the past, various projects have combined census data, vital statistics, cancer, population health surveys, and the discharge abstract database which help us better understand the health of Canadians and the functioning of the health system.

Microsimulation modeling

Statistics Canada is a world leader in the development of continuous time microsimulation models. Within HAD we develop and continue to expand the Population Health Model (POHEM), a microsimulation model of risk factors, disease incidence and prevalence, disease progression and population health outcomes. POHEM can be applied to quantify and compare prevention-based and treatment-based approaches to reducing the burden of major chronic conditions in Canada, in terms of potential health gains and cost-effectiveness.