MHLU - Health Status Resource

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Self-Reported Chronic Health Conditions Survey Question

The question in the Canadian Community Health Survey is “Now I’d like to ask about certain chronic health conditions which you may have. We are interested in ‘long-term conditions’ which are expected to last or have already lasted 6 months or more and that have been diagnosed by a health professional”.

Small Counts

The stability of a rate is dependent on the number of events that contribute to that rate. Therefore, rates in small populations are often unstable due to the relatively small number of events that occur each year. When comparing trends over time between Middlesex-London, the province and the Peer Group, we often see a larger fluctuation in rates locally than for Ontario, in which the trends are fairly smooth from year to year – this concept needs to be considered when interpreting the time trends in this resource. Furthermore, the following strategies were implemented in order to present the most stable, reliable rates at the local level:

  • Rates based on counts less than 5 have been suppressed;  
  • Directly age-standardized rates have only been derived where there were 20 or more events across all age groups;
  • For most unadjusted rates and rates of rare outcomes, multiple years of data have been collapsed to present an average annual rate. 

Small-for-Gestational Age Rate

Number of singleton live births with a birth weight less than the 10th percentile of birth weights of the same sex and same gestational age in weeks, expressed as a percentage of live singleton births with gestational ages from 22 to 43 weeks.The current Canadian reference percentile tables can be found at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/rhs-ssg/bwga-pnag/index-eng.php.

Smog

Smog is made up of predominantly ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter. Ozone has an impact on smog levels primarily in summer whereas fine particulate matter elevates smog levels all year. http://airqualityontario.com/press/faq.php

Smoke Free Ontario Act

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act is legislation enacted in 2006 that bans smoking from enclosed workplaces and public places in Ontario. In 2009, smokers were banned from smoking in cars with children under the age of 16 (Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, 2010).

Standard Drink Size

A standard drink is 13.6 g of alcohol, which translates into 5 oz of wine, 1.5 oz of spirits, or 12 oz of regular strength beer.

Standardized Hospitalization Ratio (SHR)

Actual number of hospitalizations in the Middlesex-London population divided by the number of hospitalizations expected if the population had the same age and sex specific rates as the population of Ontario.

Standardized Hospitalization Ratio Interpretation (SHR)

  • An SHR of 1 indicates that, after adjusting for the effect of differences in age and sex structure between the geographic areas, the hospitalization rate in Middlesex-London is the same as the rate for Ontario.
  • An SHR of greater than 1 indicates that, after adjusting for the effect of differences in age and sex structure between the geographic areas, there is a higher hospitalization rate in Middlesex-London than in Ontario.
  • An SHR of less than 1 indicates that, after adjusting for the effect of differences in age or sex structure between the geographic areas, there is a lower hospitalization rate in Middlesex-London than in Ontario.
  • The vertical black line above and below the dot indicates the upper and lower confidence intervals. When the confidence interval does not cross 1, the difference between the rate for Middlesex-London and Ontario is statistically significant.

Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR)

Actual number of deaths in the Middlesex-London population divided by the number of deaths expected if the population had the same age and sex specific mortality rates as the population of Ontario.

Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR) Interpretation

  • An SMR of 1 indicates that, after adjusting for the effect of differences in age and sex structure between the geographic areas, the mortality rate in Middlesex-London is the same as the rate for Ontario.
  • An SMR of greater than 1 indicates that, after adjusting for the effect of differences in age and sex structure between the geographic areas, there is a higher mortality rate in Middlesex-London than in Ontario.
  • An SMR of less than 1 indicates that, after adjusting for the effect of differences in age or sex structure between the geographic areas, there is a lower mortality rate in Middlesex-London than in Ontario.
  • The vertical black line above and below the dot indicates the upper and lower confidence intervals. When the confidence interval does not cross 1, the difference between the rate for Middlesex-London and Ontario is statistically significant.

Statistical Significance

A difference between two estimates which is statistically significant indicates that it is very unlikely to have occurred due to chance alone.

Sulphur Dioxide

Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) is a gaseous oxide that results from the combustion of sulphur containing fossil fuels and also from the smelting of sulphur containing ores. Typically SO2 is emitted from electrical utilities and other industrial facilities. Sulphur dioxide is also a precursor to sulphate aerosols, commonly contained within fine and ultrafine particulate matter, and to the formation of acid rain.

Syphilis categories

A syphilis infection is categorized as primary, secondary, early latent, late latent or tertiary depending on the amount of time since the initial infection and the presenting symptoms.  During the primary, secondary and early latent stages, syphilis infections can be spread to others.  Late latent and tertiary infections cannot spread to others but may lead to significant health problems for the infected individual.