MHLU - Health Status Resource

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Ontario Cancer Registry

Cancer Care Ontario provides access to the Ontario Cancer Registry through SEERStat software (Release [6.6.2] February, 2011). The Registry is a database of information on all Ontario residents who have been newly diagnosed with cancer (incidence) or who have died of cancer (mortality). The Registry is populated from four main data sources: hospital discharges and emergency care, pathology reports, regional cancer centre records, and death certificates. All new cancer cases are registered, with the exception of non-melanoma skin cancer.

Other Data Sources

Internal databases maintained at the Middlesex-London Health Unit provided data on:

  • Vector Borne Disease surveillance;
  • Rabies investigations;
  • Food handler certification;
  • Extreme Temperature Alerts;
  • The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) provided data on motor-vehicle collisions.
  • Information on air quality (poor air quality and smog advisories) was obtained through the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
  • Diabetes prevalence rates and rates of chronic diseases by income quintile was provided by the ICES InTool.


Ozone (O3) is created when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds combine in the presence of sunlight.  High ozone occurs primarily in the summer, though over time levels of ozone are also increasing in the winter in Southern Ontario. Ozone is associated with adverse effects on respiratory symptoms and lung function.

Particulate Matter

Small airborne solid particles are referred to as fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and may contain harmful aerosols, combustion particles and metal vapours. These particles, measuring less than 2.5 μg in diameter, can penetrate deep into the lungs and damage tissues through chronic inflammation.

Peer Group

The grouping of Ontario public health units with socio-economic characteristics similar to those of Middlesex-London. It includes Brant County, City of Hamilton, Niagara, Windsor-Essex County and Middlesex-London.  It is based on the 2015 Statistics Canada Peer Group A that includes health regions from across Canada that are characterized by having population centres with high population density and a rural mix.

Per 100,000 Population

A rate which is provided per 100,000 population means that the value of the rate represents the number of events which would occur for every 100,000 people in a specified population.  

Perceived Health

This concept indicates the respondent's health status based on his or her own judgement.  It comes from a survey question asked in the Canadian Community Health Survey of the whole non-institutionalized population aged 12 or older. 

Perinatal Conditions

Conditions which originate in the perinatal period, i.e. the period immediately before, during and after birth. This may include the following:

  • Fetus and newborn affected by maternal factors and by complications of pregnancy, labour and delivery
  • Disorders related to length of gestation and fetal growth
  • Birth trauma
  • Respiratory and cardiovascular disorders specific to the perinatal period
  • Infections specific to the perinatal period
  • Haemorrhagic and haematological disorders of fetus and newborn
  • Transitory endocrine and metabolic disorders specific to fetus and newborn
  • Digestive system disorders of fetus and newborn
  • Conditions involving the integument and temperature regulation of fetus and newborn

For more information

Population Centre

Population centre has replaced the term urban area formerly used by Statistics Canada. It is an area with a population of at least 1,000 and a density of 400 or more people per square kilometre. All areas outside population centres continue to be defined as rural areas.

Small population centres have a population of between 1,000 and 29,999; medium population centres, 30,000 and 99,999; and large urban population centres, 100,000 and over. The area of the population centre is not necessarily the same geographic area described by the city or municipal boundaries as it includes the more densely populated areas adjacent the population cores that meet the 2016 revised set of criteria and threshold levels.1 

1. Statistics Canada. Population Centre and Rural Area Classification 2016 [Internet]. Ottawa. Ministry of Industry; 2017 Feb 8. Available from:

Population Density

Number of people per square kilometre. Calculated by dividing the total population by land area.

Population Growth

The population percentage change between two time periods or the ratio of the difference between the population at the end of the period and the population at the beginning of the period relative to the population at the beginning of the period.

Potential Years of Life Lost (PYLL)

The sum of the total years of life lost relative to age 75. PYLL is calculated by adding together, for all deaths, the number of years remaining until age 75, and then dividing by the population under the age of 75 years.

Pregnancy Rate

The number of in-hospital deliveries of live births and stillbirths, plus the number of therapeutic abortions, among females aged 15-49 years per 1,000 females aged 15-49.

Preterm Birth Rate

Number of live births delivered before 37 completed weeks of gestation per 100 live births.

Prevalence Rate

The total number of cases of an event in the population that exist for a certain period or point in time

Rate (Unadjusted or Crude)

Total number of events (e.g., deaths, births, hospitalizations) divided by the total population for a given time period and geography.

If one is interested in knowing the true event rates in a particular geographic area then unadjusted or crude rate should be used instead of age standardized rate.

Respiratory Diseases

‘Chronic respiratory diseases are chronic diseases of the airways and other parts of the lung. Some of the most common are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, sleep apnea and occupational lung diseases. Respiratory diseases affect all ages-children, teens, adults and seniors.’ Public Health Agency of Canada 2011

Rural Area

Rural areas (RAs) include all territory lying outside population centres. Taken together, population centres and rural areas cover all of Canada. Rural population also includes all population living in rural areas of cities such as the City of London, as well as population living in rural areas outside of cities1

1.Statistics Canada. Population Centre and Rural Area Classification 2016 [Internet]. Ottawa. Ministry of Industry; 2017 Feb 8. Available from: 

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”.

Seniors Dependency Ratio

Number of people aged 65 years and older divided by the number of people aged 20 to 64 multiplied by 100. (Also known as Elderly Dependency Ratio.)