Health Fact Sheets
Chronic conditions, 2015

Release date: March 22, 2017

Arthritis

In 2015, 20.4% of Canadians aged 15 and older (roughly 6 million people) reported that they had been diagnosed with arthritis by a health professional.Note 1Note 2

Overall, females were more likely than males to report having arthritis.Note 3 The chronic condition was prevalent among 24.0% of females and 16.8% of males. Among both sexes, the percentage reporting arthritis increased with age, with the highest prevalence among those aged 75 or older (Chart 1).

Chart 1 Arthritis, by age group and sex, household population aged 15 or older, Canada, 2015

Data table for Chart 1
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1. The information is grouped by Age group (years) (appearing as row headers), Percent and Confidence Interval, calculated using Lower 95% and Upper 95% units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Age group (years) Percent Confidence Interval
Lower 95% Upper 95%
Males  
Total (15 or older) 16.8 16.1 17.5
15 to 34 2.2 1.7 2.7
35 to 49 12.1 10.7 13.6
50 to 64 24.6 22.8 26.4
65 to 74 36.4 34.0 38.7
75 or older 43.7 40.4 47.0
Females  
Total (15 or older) 24.0 23.2 24.7
15 to 34 3.5 2.8 4.1
35 to 49 13.0 11.5 14.5
50 to 64 34.1 32.2 35.9
65 to 74 51.7 49.3 54.1
75 or older 62.7 60.3 65.0

Of arthritis sufferers in 2015, 83.6% reported they had consulted with a family doctor or general practitioner in the past 12 months, whereas only 64.6% among those without arthritis had. One of the symptoms of arthritis is stiffness or pain in joints.Note 4 Activity-limiting painNote 5 was reported by 40.2% of those with arthritis and only 8.5% of those without the condition.

High blood pressure

In 2015, 16.9% of Canadians aged 12 and older (roughly 5.1 million people) reported that they had been diagnosed with high blood pressure.Note 6

The percentage of males reporting high blood pressure increased with age up until the age of 74. There was no significant difference between males aged 65 to 74 and males aged 75 or older. The highest percentage of females reporting high blood pressure were 75 and older, with 51.8% of females within this age group reporting the condition (Chart 2).

Chart 2 High blood pressure, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 or older, Canada, 2015

Data table for Chart 2
Data table for Chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 2. The information is grouped by Age group (years) (appearing as row headers), Percent and Confidence Interval, calculated using Lower 95% and Upper 95% units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Age group (years) Percent Confidence Interval
Lower 95% Upper 95%
Males  
Total (12 or older) 16.6 16.0 17.3
12 to 34 2.2 1.7 2.7
35 to 49 11.0 9.6 12.4
50 to 64 24.7 22.9 26.5
65 to 74 42.4 39.9 45.0
75 or older 42.2 38.9 45.4
Females  
Total (12 or older) 17.2 16.6 17.8
12 to 34 1.8 1.3 2.3
35 to 49 8.2 6.8 9.5
50 to 64 23.2 21.6 24.7
65 to 74 43.5 41.1 46.0
75 or older 51.8 49.1 54.4

ObeseNote 7 Canadians aged 18 and over were almost three times as likely as those with a normal weight to have high blood pressure. Among adults within a normal weight range, 9.8% have high blood pressure, compared with 18.1% who were overweight and 28.7% who were obese.

Asthma

In 2015, 8.6% of Canadians aged 12 and older (roughly 2.6 million people) reported that they had been diagnosed with asthma by a health professional. Among the sexes, 9.8% of females and 7.3% of males reported that they had asthma. The prevalence of asthma was highest for males aged 12 to 17, while for females the prevalence was about the same across all age groups (Chart 3).

Chart 3 Asthma, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2015

Data table for Chart 3
Data table for Chart 3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 3. The information is grouped by Age group (years) (appearing as row headers), Percent and Confidence Interval, calculated using Lower 95% and Upper 95% units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Age group (years) Percent Confidence Interval
Lower 95% Upper 95%
Males  
Total (12 or older) 7.3 6.8 7.8
12 to 17 12.2 10.2 14.2
18 to 34 8.5 7.2 9.8
35 to 49 5.6 4.6 6.5
50 to 64 7.0 5.9 8.0
65 or older 6.0 5.1 7.0
Females  
Total (12 or older) 9.8 9.1 10.5
12 to 17 8.9 7.0 10.8
18 to 34 10.2 8.9 11.5
35 to 49 10.4 8.8 11.9
50 to 64 9.3 8.1 10.5
65 or older 9.6 8.5 10.7

Of Canadians aged 12 or older living with asthma, 78.3% report they had seen a family doctor or general practitioner in the past 12 months, while only 67.0% of those without asthma had.

Mood disorders

In 2015, 7.9% of Canadians aged 12 and older (roughly 2.4 million people) reported that they had been diagnosed with a mood disorder by a health professional. In 2015, a lower percentage of males (5.9%) reported having a mood disorder compared to females (9.9%).

Female youth aged 12 to 17 were less likely to report a mood disorder than females of any other age group. Among males, the prevalence was similar across most age groups (Chart 4).

Chart 4 Mood disorders, by age group and sex, household population aged 12 and older, Canada, 2015

Data table for Chart 4
Data table for Chart 4
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 4. The information is grouped by Age group (years) (appearing as row headers), Percent and Confidence Interval, calculated using Lower 95% and Upper 95% units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Age group (years) Percent Confidence Interval
Lower 95% Upper 95%
Males  
Total (12 or older) 5.9 5.4 6.4
12 to 17 5.5Note E: Use with caution 3.8 7.1
18 to 34 5.4 4.3 6.5
35 to 49 6.6 5.5 7.6
50 to 64 6.8 5.8 7.9
65 or older 4.5 3.8 5.3
Females  
Total (12 or older) 9.9 9.4 10.5
12 to 17 5.2 4.0 6.4
18 to 34 10.1 8.9 11.3
35 to 49 11.4 10.1 12.8
50 to 64 11.6 10.5 12.8
65 or older 7.4 6.5 8.3

In 2015, a higher proportion of females with mood disorders reported that they talked to a health professional about their emotional or mental health in the past 12 months (67.8%) than males with mood disorders (56.6%). Comparatively, of those without a mood disorder, only 7.0% of males and 12.5% of females had talked to a health professional about their emotional or mental health.

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About Chronic Conditions

The Canadian Community Health survey includes questions on multiple chronic health conditions including arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure and mood disorders. Respondents are asked about conditions that are expected to last or have already lasted 6 months or more and that have been diagnosed by a health professional.

  • Arthritis describes many conditions that affect joints, the tissue surrounding joints, and other connective tissue. The most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The resulting pain, stiffness, swelling and/or deformity of the joints can substantially reduce quality of life.Note 4
  • Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways that causes coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and wheezing. Quality of life can be affected not only by asthma attacks, but also by absences from work and limitations in other activities.Note 8
  • High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney failure. It can narrow and block arteries, as well as strain and weaken the body’s organs.Note 9
  • Mood disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, mania or dysthymia, can greatly affect the lives of those who have them. The impact of depression on job performance has been estimated to be greater than that of chronic conditions such as arthritis, hypertension, back problems and diabetes.Note 10

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References

Chen, Y., H. Johansen, S. Thillaiampalam, and C. Sambell. 2005, “Asthma.” Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. Vol. 16, no. 2. (Accessed January 11th, 2017)

Gilmour, H. and B. P. Scott. 2007. “Depression and work impairment.” Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003 Vol. 18 no. 1. (Accessed January 11th, 2017)

Heart and Stroke Foundation. http://www.heartandstroke.ca (accessed January 11, 2017).

Johansen, H. 1999. “Living with heart disease—the working—age population.” Health Reports. Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 82-003. Vol. 10, no. 4. (Accessed January 11th, 2017)

Johansen, H., M. Nargundkar, C. Nair, G. Taylor, and S. ElSaadany. 1997. “At risk of first or recurring heart disease.” Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. Vol. 9, no. 4.  (Accessed January 11th, 2017)

Orpana, H., L. Lemyre, and R. Gravel. 2009. “Income and psychological distress: The role of the social environment.” Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. Vol. 20, no. 1. (Accessed January 11th, 2017)

Shields, M. 2006. “Stress and depression in the employed population.” Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. Vol. 17 no. 4. (Accessed January 11th, 2017)

The Arthritis Society. http://www.arthritis.ca (Accessed January 11th, 2017).

Wilkins, K. 1999. “Hormone replacement therapy and incident arthritis.” Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. Vol. 11, no. 2. (Accessed January 11th, 2017

Wilkins, K. 2004. “Bipolar I disorder, social support and work.” Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. Vol. 15. (Accessed January 11th, 2017)

Wilkins, K. 2004. “Incident arthritis in relation to excess weight.” Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003. Vol. 15, no. 1. (Accessed January 11th, 2017)

Wilkins, K., N.R.C. Campbell, and M.R. Joffres. 2010. “Blood pressure in Canadian adults.” Health Reports. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003 Vol. 21, no. 1. (Accessed January 11th, 2017)

Data

Additional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey are available from CANSIM table 105–0508.

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