MLHU - Health Status Resource

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Moving Average

Method of smoothing irregularities in trend data, such as long term trends in incidence or mortality.  Moving averages make it easier to understand long-term trends in rates that otherwise might be masked by short-term fluctuations (Last, 4 ed). 

Multiple live birth rate

The number of multiple live births per 100 live births.

Need for Help with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

This classifies respondents according to their need for help (because of health reasons) with instrumental activities of daily living such as preparing meals, shopping for groceries or other necessities, doing everyday housework, doing heavy household chores (washing walls, yard work), and personal care (washing, dressing or eating), moving about inside the house or paying bills.

Neural tube defect

Birth defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord. The two most common neural tube defects are spina bifida (when the spine does not close) and anencephaly (when part of the brain and skull are missing).1

1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Folic Acid and Neural Tube Defects [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2018 Nov 12]. Available from:

Nicotine Dependence

Nicotine produces feelings of pleasure, alertness and other mood-altering effects. These physical and psychological factors make it difficult to stop using tobacco, even if the person wants to quit. It is also referred to as an addiction to tobacco.1

1. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health [Internet]. Toronto (ON): Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; c2019. Nicotine Dependence [cited 2019 Apr 25]; [About 8 screens]. Available from:

Nitrogen Dioxide

Ambient nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is derived from oxidized nitrogen oxide (NO) and is generally a marker of combustion related air pollution, including power and chemical plants and traffic emissions. Adverse health effects may come from NO2 itself or its many secondary reaction products including ozone (O3).

Non-permanent residents

Non-permanent residents are people from another country who have a work or study permit or who are refugee claimants, and their family members sharing the same permit and living in Canada with them. They are not considered immigrants.

Non-traumatic Oral Health Conditions

These are conditions causing pain and infection as a result of untreated dental caries or improper oral health preventative procedures.1,2

1. Singhal, S., Quinonez, C., & Manson, H. Visits for nontraumatic dental conditions in Ontario’s health care system. JDR Clinical & Translational Research 2019 4(1): 86-95. Retrieved from:

2. Seu, K., Kendall K. Hall, K.K., & Moy, E. Emergency Department Visits for Dental-Related Conditions, 2009. Healthcare cost and utilization report 2012 [cited 2019 Oct 10]. Retrieved from:

Nutritious Food Basket

The nutritious food basket provides information about the approximate cost of eating healthy. The weekly cost of food is based on a survey of 67 food items from 12 local chains and independent grocery stores. The food items included in the survey are determined by the food buying patterns of the average Canadian and data provided by Statistics Canada. 

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.

Opioid-related death

“acute intoxication/toxicity death resulting from the direct effects of the administration of exogenous substance(s) where one or more of the substances is an opioid, regardless of how the opioid was obtained.” Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario.

Opioid-related visit to ED

All visits to the emergency department related to the opioids for either a poisoning by an opioid drug or a mental and behavioural disorder due to use of opioids. Some examples include acute intoxication, dependence syndrome, withdrawal state and psychotic disorder.

Oral and facial pain

Oral or facial pain includes any pain or discomfort in the teeth or gums.

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.

Parent or partner has a history of mental illness

A mother, father or parenting partner has a history of depression, anxiety or other mental illness.

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 Groups

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.1

1. Statistics Canada. Health Region (2014) Peer Groups – Working Paper [Internet]. Ottawa, ON: 2014 [cited 2018 Nov 9]. Available from:

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.