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A Canadian peer-reviewed journal of population health and health services research
by Kellie Langlois, Linda Greene-Finestone, Julian Little, Nick Hidiroglou and Susan Whiting
The Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), launched by Statistics Canada in 2007 in partnership with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, collected direct physical measures of health and wellness from a nationally representative sample of Canadians. It is the most comprehensive direct health measures survey undertaken in Canada at the national level. A fundamental aspect of the CHMS is the collection of blood and urine samples,1 which were analyzed for chronic and infectious diseases, environmental toxins, and nutritional biomarkers, including glucose, cholesterol, calcium, and vitamin D. This study examines 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations in the Canadian population aged 6 to 79 years and factors shown to affect vitamin D status.
by Didier Garriguet
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that contributes to the formation and health of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, bones, teeth and gums. It helps the body absorb iron and recover from wounds and burns. Serious deficiency can lead to scurvy, which is now a rare condition in the Western world.
by Shirley Bryan, Mathieu Saint-Pierre Larose, Norm Campbell, Janine Clarke and Mark S. Tremblay
Elevated blood pressure (BP) is a leading risk factor for mortality, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. The World Health Organization estimates that elevated BP is responsible for approximately 7.1 million premature deaths annually and 4.4% of the global disease burden, with twothirds of stroke and half of ischemic heart disease attributable to suboptimal BP levels. Worldwide, in 2000, an estimated 26.4% of adults had hypertension (high BP), a figure projected to increase to 29.2% by 2025.
by Kathryn Wilkins, Norman R.C. Campbell, Michel R. Joffres, Finlay A. McAlister, Marianne Nichol, Susan Quach, Helen L. Johansen and Mark S. Tremblay
Hypertension is an important risk factor for cardiac, cerebrovascular and other vascular diseases. Hypertension is also a major cause of disability and is considered to be the leading risk factor for death in the world, causing an estimated 7.5 million deaths per year (13% of all deaths). Surveillance of BP in the population provides vital feedback to hypertension prevention and control efforts. With the recent Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), direct, automated measures of BP were collected from a representative sample of people, allowing for the most accurate nationwide assessment of the prevalence of hypertension that has ever been undertaken.
by Rachel Colley, Sarah Connor Gorber and Mark S. Tremblay
Considerable evidence indicates that sedentary behaviour is a major risk factor for obesity and several other chronic conditions. Population-level surveillance of physical activity has historically relied on questionnaires, a method of assessing lifestyle behaviours that can be affected by measurement bias. Objective measurement devices, notably accelerometers, have the potential to overcome many problems associated with self-reports, and they provide robust and detailed information about physical activity. However, because small inconsistencies can have a substantial impact on outcome variables, stringent quality control and data reduction procedures are necessary.
by Mark S. Tremblay, Margot Shields, Manon Laviolette, Cora L. Craig, Ian Janssen and Sarah Connor Gorber
Childhood obesity and inactivity have been at the forefront of child health concerns in Canada in recent years, with compelling evidence that childhood obesity is rising and inactivity levels are high. These trends are particularly important given the strength of the evidence demonstrating the health consequences of childhood obesity and the benefits of physical activity to childhood health and wellness.
by Margot Shields, Mark S. Tremblay, Manon Laviolette, Cora L. Craig, Ian Janssen and Sarah Connor Gorber
The health benefits of being physically fit are widely acknowledged. Physical fitness comprises several components including morphological fitness (for example, body mass index, waist circumference, percent body fat, body fat distribution), muscular fitness (for example, strength, muscular endurance, flexibility), motor fitness (for example, speed, agility), cardiorespiratory fitness (for example, aerobic fitness, resting blood pressure, resting heart rate), and metabolic fitness (for example, blood lipid profile, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity). The new Canadian Health Measures Survey was designed to collect data about most of these elements of fitness from a representative sample of Canadians aged 6 to 79 years.