Canadian Community Health Survey Data (2000 to 2011) Linked to the Canadian Vital Statistics Death Database (2000-2011)

The purpose of the linkage project is to better understand and quantify the association between risk factors (i.e. behavioural, socio-economic) and mortality outcomes at the individual and population level among household dwelling Canadians.

This record linkage project brings together health survey data from the Canadian Community Health survey (CCHS) annual component for 2000 to 2011, the Canadian Community Health Survey Focus content for 2002 (Mental Health and Wellbeing) and 2008 (Healthy Aging) and mortality data from the Canadian Vital Statistics Death Database (CVSD) for 2000 to 2011.

The Data

Canadian Community Health Survey

The annual component of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) collects cross-sectional information about the health, health behaviours and health care use of the non-institutionalized household population aged 12 or older. The survey excludes full-time members of the Canadian Forces and residents of reserves and some remote areas, together representing about 4% of the target population.

The CCHS focus content surveys are designed to provide cross sectional, provincial level results on specific focused health topics. Three focus content files were used in this linkage project. The CCHS Mental Health and Well-being (2002) collected information about mental disorders, mental health system use, and disability associated with mental health problems among the household population aged 15 and older. The CCHS Nutrition (2004) collected information about dietary intake, nutritional well-being and their key determinants. The CCHS Healthy Aging (2008) collected information among the household population aged 45 and over. This survey focused on the various factors that impact healthy aging such as physical activity, use of health care services, social participation, and work and retirement transitions.

The following is a list of CCHS annual files, and focus content files that were used in this linkage project and which are available to researcher in the RDC. Only those respondents who agreed to share and link their survey results were included.

  • CCHS 1.1 (2000 to 2001)
  • CCHS 2.1 (2003 to 2004)
  • CCHS 3.1 (2005 to 2006)
  • CCHS 2007
  • CCHS 2008
  • CCHS 2009
  • CCHS 2010
  • CCHS 2011
  • CCHS Mental Health and Well-being (2002)
  • CCHS Nutrition (2004)
  • CCHS Healthy Aging (2008)

The CCHS questionnaires are available on the Statistics Canada website or through your RDC Analyst. Non-confidential information about the CCHS is available through the data liberation initiative, through your local RDC Analyst, or can be requested through Health Statistics Division client services ( Once approval to access the linked files has been granted, user guides, questionnaires and other confidential documentation will be accessible to approved researchers in the RDC.

The CCHS records eligible for linkage were respondents residing outside the province of Quebec, who consented to share their survey information with provincial and federal ministries of health and to link their responses to administrative data. Approximately 84.7% of CCHS respondents residing outside the province of Quebec agreed to share and link their data; results vary across survey years.

Canadian Vital Statistics Death Database (CVSD)

The Canadian Vital Statistics Death Database (CVSD) is a census of all deaths occurring in Canada each year. Deaths are reported by the provincial and territorial Vital Statistics Registries to Statistics Canada; the information provided includes demographic and cause of death information. Cause-of-death information is coded using the version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) in effect at the time of death. Details about the variables contained on the file can be obtained in the Data Dictionary, available from your RDC analyst. Records eligible for record linkage were deaths that occurred from January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2011 of individuals aged 12 or older (n = 2.774 million). For this linkage project, a subset of variables from the CVSD (death date, cause of death, and place of death), have been added to the linkage files in the RDC. Analysts will not be able to link the CCHS to the full CVSD in the RDC with these files.

File structure, layout

All variables from the CCHS share files are available for analysis. Please see appropriate data dictionaries for relevant CCHS cycles.

The following selected variables from the death database are available for those CCHS respondents that linked to a death record:

Selected variables from the death database
Type Variable Name Description
Num TOWGHT Mortality Linkage Weight
Char DEATHDATE Date of Death (YYYY/MM/DD)
Char HOME Place of death (hospital, private home, other care facility, other specified facility)
Char CAUSE ICD-10 underlying cause of death
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