MHLU - Health Status Resource

Standardized Mortality Ratios (SMRs): Local Versus Provincial

Standardized Mortality Ratios (SMRs): Local Versus Provincial

Key Findings: 
  • In Middlesex-London, females were about 20% more likely to die from breast cancer and about 20% less likely to die from diabetes than their Ontario counterparts during the 2005 to 2007 time period (Fig. 3.13).
  • None of the other leading causes of death for females or males were significantly different from Ontario as a whole (Fig. 3.13 and Fig. 3.14).
Interpretive Notes

The Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR) allows for a comparison of local to provincial rates while adjusting for any differences in the age and sex distributions of the two geographic areas. It is a ratio of the number of actual deaths in the population compared to the number of expected deaths if the population had the same age and sex specific mortality rates as the population of Ontario. In this section it is used to compare specific mortality rates in Middlesex-London to rates in Ontario. 

How this Indicator was Calculated: 
Ontario Public Health Standard: 

Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol - Section 1, Subsections b-ii

Jargon Explained

Standardized mortality ratio (SMR):

Actual number of deaths in a given population (Middlesex-London) over the number of deaths expected if the population had the exact same age- and sex- specific mortality rates as the population of Ontario.

How to interpret an SMR

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.

Learn more