MHLU - Health Status Resource

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A (7) | B (3) | C (7) | D (3) | E (2) | F (5) | G (1) | H (7) | I (13) | K (1) | L (10) | M (7) | N (5) | O (3) | P (13) | R (4) | S (20) | T (5) | U (2) | V (1) | W (3) | Y (1)

Elderly Dependency Ratio

Number of people aged 65 years and older divided by the number of people aged 20 to 64


People over the age of 15 years who did any work at all, or who had a job but were not at work, e.g., on leave. 

Folic acid fortification

The addition of folic acid to food. In Canada, folic acid must be added to enriched pasta, white flour, infant formula, whole egg substitutes, and simulated meat products.


Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Foods to Which Vitamins, Mineral Nutrients and Amino Acids May or Must Be Added [D.03.002, Fdr] [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2018 Nov 12]. Available from:

Folic acid use prior to and during pregnancy

The percentage of women who gave birth (live or still) who reported taking folic acid supplements prior to and during pregnancy. Excludes women who did report any use during pregnancy (i.e., use only reported prior to pregnancy).

Folic acid use prior to pregnancy

The percentage of women who gave birth (live or still) who reported taking folic acid prior to pregnancy. Includes women who reported any folic acid use prior to pregnancy (including those who continued use during pregnancy).

Food Handler Certification Program

A program designed to teach food handlers the general principles of safe food handling such as risk factors associated with food borne illness and to teach the skills necessary to handle food and prevent illness from occurring. The course is based on the principles of sanitary food service and hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) procedures. 

Food Security

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. The CCHS survey questions asked whether household members were able to afford the food they needed in the previous 12 months. Households were classified as food insecure if there was an indication of compromise in quality and/or quantity of food consumed or reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns due to lack of money.

General Fertility Rate

The number of live births during a given period over the female population aged 15-49.

Hazardous Food

Any food that is capable of supporting the growth of pathogenic organisms or production of the toxins from such organisms

Health Indicator Framework

Health indicators are used to measure health status of a given population over a defined period of time. For this resource, appropriate indicators were chosen from the Core Indicators for Public Health in Ontario – a framework developed by the Association of Public Health Epidemiologists of Ontario (APHEO). This framework was developed, and it continues to be updated, in order to standardize and improve the accuracy of community health status reporting across Ontario public health units.  This resource provides definitions, methods and resources for calculating over 120 health indicators. Local level, reliable data was unavailable for some indicators therefore, not all were addressed in this resource. 

High birth weight rate

The number of live births with a birth weight of 4,500 grams or more, per 100 live births.

Home Language

The language spoken most often at home

Household food security

the financial ability of households to access adequate food. Insecurity included marginal, moderate and severe food insecurity.

Housing Affordability

Spending more than 30% of the household income on housing costs like rent or mortgage payments, property taxes and utilities can leave people without enough money for other important necessities like food, clothing and transportation.

How was SES determined in the Gaps in Health based on Socioeconomic Status section?

Socioeconomic status (SES) was based on a deprivation index composed of the following factors: percent without high school diploma, percent employed, average income, percent of single-parent families, percent of persons living alone, and percent of persons separated, divorced or widowed.


Immigrants are people who are or who have ever been landed immigrants or permanent residents. Such persons have been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Immigrants who have obtained Canadian citizenship by naturalization are included in this category.

Immunization coverage

“Immunization coverage refers to the proportion of a defined population that is appropriately immunized against a specific vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) at a point in time”2 .

Student immunization coverage is usually expressed as a percent, and can be calculated for a variety of populations of interest: within a particular grade in a school, for an entire school, or across an entire region. As immunization coverage values increase, the greater the proportion of people in the population of interest who are appropriately immunized, and therefore considered to have protection from the vaccine-preventable disease of interest.

Assessment of whether or not students are appropriately immunized is based on whether they have received the immunizations indicated in the Publicly Funded Immunization Schedules for Ontario at the appropriate age and time intervals.

Immunization of School Pupils Act

The Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) is the Ontario legislation that outlines the responsibilities of Ontario public health units to maintain immunization records for students attending schools in their jurisdictions, and to assess those records to ensure that students are appropriately immunized against designated vaccine-preventable diseases of public health significance. Under the ISPA, students whose immunization records are not up-to-date for designated diseases may be suspended from school. Those who have had the disease of interest or who have medical reasons for being unimmunized against ISPA-designated diseases can submit a Statement of Medical Exemption. Those who have philosophical or religious reasons for being unimmunized can submit a Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief.

Immunization Records Information System (IRIS)

IRIS is the information system used by all Ontario health units in Ontario to record immunizations and exemptions for all students attending school within the health unit jurisdiction, as well as children attending licensed day cares.  The database is maintained by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and individual health units.

Impact of Health Problems

This is a crude measure of the impact of long-term physical conditions, mental conditions and health problems on the principal domains of life: home, work, school, and other activities.