MHLU - Health Status Resource

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Aboriginal Identity Population

The Aboriginal identity population includes people who reported that they identify with at least one Aboriginal group; that is, North American Indian, Métis or Inuit, and/or those who reported being a Treaty Indian or a Registered Indian, as defined by the Indian Act of Canada, and/or those who reported they were members of an Indian band or First Nations.

Active for Adults (18-64) and Older Adults (65+)

at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more according to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.1

1. Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines: An Integration of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology; c2019 [cited 2019 Apr 17]. Available from:

Active for Youth (12-17)

At least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity daily according to the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth. Although vigorous intensity activity is recommended at least 3 days per week it was not considered in this analysis.1

1. Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines: An Integration of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology; c2019 [cited 2019 Apr 17]. Available from:

Adverse Events Following Immunization

An adverse event following immunization (AEFI) is an unwanted or unexpected health effect that occurs after an immunization is given. AEFI may include local reactions at the injection site, allergic reactions, and other conditions or reactions. It is important to note that an adverse event that follows an immunization may, or may not, be due to that immunization.

Ontario public health units are required to follow up potential AEFI that are reported by health care providers. Reported AEFI that meet the provincial case definition are included in the provincial, national, and international system of vaccine safety monitoring.

Affordable housing

Is measured using the shelter-cost-to-income ratio. When households spend 30% or more of their total before-tax household income on shelter costs it is considered not to be affordable.

Age-Specific Fertility Rate

The number of live births to women in a given age group over the number of women in that age group.

Age-Standardized Rate

Age-standardized rates may be used to compare different geographic areas or time frames to adjust for any differences in the age structure of the populations that could cause a difference in rates.

It reflects the number of events (e.g., deaths, hospitalizations) that would occur for a given population if that population had the same age distribution as the 1991 Canadian population.

Age-standardized rates have been used to make more valid comparisons than comparing crude rates. Standardization requires adjusting for the effects of varying age structures of different populations and over different periods of time. The importance of age-standardization can be illustrated by using Population X, which has a higher proportion of elderly persons than Population Y. The unadjusted or “crude” mortality rate for Population X would be significantly higher than Population Y solely because it has a higher proportion of elderly persons and the elderly have a much higher death rate than younger people. This concept also applies when comparing one population over different time periods if the age structure of the population changes over time. By standardizing the mortality rates for Population X, we can see what the mortality rate would be like if they had the same age structure as Population Y. The two different populations are now compared directly.

Air Quality Index (AQI)

This index is based on six pollutants that have adverse effects on human health and the environment: ozone (O3), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and total reduced sulphur (TRS) compounds.

AQI < 32 = good or very good; AQI 32-49 = moderate; AQI 50-99 = poor; AQI >99 = very poor

Air quality in the poor or very poor range can have adverse effects on a large portion of the animal/human population and can damage property and vegetation. (Ministry of the Environment, 2008)

Any breastfeeding

When an infant is fed breast milk in combination with other formula, water, substitute, or food.



Association of Public Health Epidemiologists of Ontario (APHEO)

The Association of Public Health Epidemiologists in Ontario is an organization of approximately 90 full members who practice epidemiology in Ontario's public health units, as well as more than 150 affiliate members. APHEO's mission is to advance and promote the discipline and professional practice of epidemiology in Ontario public health units. 

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking: For women this means drinking more than 3 standard drinks and for men more than 4 standard drinks on any single occasion in the past year. This is also the same as drinking in excess of the recommendations of Guideline 2 of the Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines.

Birth Rate

The annual number of live births per 1,000 population.

Body Mass Index

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a ratio of weight to height (kg/m2) and is considered the most useful indicator of population health risk associated with both overweight and underweight. (Health Canada, 2003)

Normal weight – BMI 18.5-24.9

Overweight – BMI 25.0-29.9

Obese – BMI 30.0 and above

Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)

The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) is a national population household survey of Canadians aged 12 years and older. It provides self-reported information related to health status, health care utilization and health determinants. Data is generally available down to the level of health region. To produce accurate estimates at the health unit level, two-year period estimates (e.g. 2013 and 2014 data average) were used in this resource along with estimates from the 2003, 2005, 2007/8 , 2009/10 and 2011/12 data collection cycles. 

Cannabis-related ED visit

These include visits for poisonings as well as cannabis-related mental health and behavioural reasons: acute intoxication; dependence; withdrawal; and, cannabis-related psychotic disorder.

Cardiovascular Disease

 ‘Cardiovascular disease is a term that refers to more than one disease of the circulatory system including the heart and blood vessels, whether the blood vessels are affecting the lungs, the brain, kidneys or other parts of the body. The six types of cardiovascular disease are ischemic heart disease (heart attack), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), peripheral vascular disease, heart failure, rheumatic heart disease and congenital heart disease.’  Public Health Agency of Canada 2011


Data from the Canadian Census was provided by Statistics Canada. The census takes place every five years in Canada and is a reliable source of information for population and dwelling counts as well as demographic and other socio-economic characteristics.

Census Family

Census family is defined as a married couple and the children, if any, of either and/or both spouses; a couple living common law and the children, if any, of either and/or both partners; or a lone parent of any marital status with at least one child living in the same dwelling and that child or those children. All members of a particular census family live in the same dwelling.

A couple may be of opposite or same sex. Children may be children by birth, marriage, common-law union or adoption regardless of their age or marital status as long as they live in the dwelling and do not have their own married spouse, common-law partner or child living in the dwelling. Grandchildren living with their grandparent(s) but with no parents present also constitute a census family.

1. Statistics Canada. Dictionary, Census of Population, Census Family 2016 [Internet] Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada; 2016 [updated 2017 May 3; cited 2018 Nov 30]. Available from

Client or family in need of newcomer support

A client or family who is new to Canada (less than five years living in Canada), who lacks social supports, or who may be experiencing social isolation.

Coefficient of Variation

The coefficient of variation (CV) is the measure used to indicate the sampling variability associated with survey estimates. The CV is obtained by dividing the standard deviation of the estimate by the estimate itself and it is expressed as a percentage of the estimate. Statistics Canada guidelines around the release of survey estimates, based on the magnitude of the CV, have been followed in this resource:

  • A CV between 0 and 16.5% is considered acceptable and the estimate can be released without restriction;
  • Estimates with a CV between 16.6 and 33.3% can be released, but with a cautionary note regarding high sampling variability;
  • Estimates with a CV greater than 33.3% should be suppressed due to extreme sampling variability;
  • Estimate release guidelines require at least 10 observations;

For CCHS survey estimates in this resource, CV’s have been calculated using the “bootstrap method”.