MHLU - Health Status Resource

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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. 

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

Married and common-law couples, and the children, if any, of either or both spouses, who all live in the same dwelling.  It also includes single parents with children living in the same dwelling.  Children may be of any age or marital status as long as they live in the same dwelling as their parent(s).

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”.

Confidence Intervals

Confidence intervals (CIs) indicate the reliability of a statistical estimate or rate.  A 95% confidence interval is interpreted as a range in which we can be 95% confident the true population value lies. Wide confidence intervals, suggest less reliable estimates than narrow confidence intervals. In general, the larger the population, the narrower the CI and hence, the more precise is the estimate. Confidence intervals can also be used as tests of statistical significance when comparing estimates – if the CIs for the estimates under comparison overlap, we can say the difference between the estimates is not statistically significant. For CCHS data, 95% CIs have been calculated using the “bootstrap method”.