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The Daily — Study: Select health indicators of First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit, 2007 to 2010

January 29, 2013

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First Nations people living off reserve, Métis, and Inuit reported poorer health compared with non-Aboriginal people based on Canadian Community Health Survey data from 2007 to 2010.

The poorer self-reported health among First Nations people and Métis was partly a result of higher rates of chronic conditions. About 56% of First Nations and 55% of Métis reported being diagnosed with one or more chronic conditions, compared with 48% of non-Aboriginal people.

All three Aboriginal groups were more likely to report unhealthy behaviours, namely smoking and heavy drinking. Smoking rates among Aboriginal groups were more than twice as high as the non-Aboriginal population.

Aboriginal people were more likely to be exposed to second-hand smoke in the home. For example, 24% of Métis youth aged 12 to 24 were exposed to second-hand smoke in the home compared with 14% for non-Aboriginal youth.

All three Aboriginal groups had higher obesity rates: 26% for First Nations people and Inuit, and 22% for Métis. These compare with 16% for non-Aboriginal people.

Diabetes is one of many health issues related to obesity. First Nations people aged 45 and over had nearly twice the rate of diabetes compared with the non-Aboriginal population (19% versus 11%).

Household food insecurity occurs when food quality or quantity are compromised. Food insecurity was more common among the three Aboriginal groups, with the highest rate among Inuit at 27%, four times the proportion of 7% for non-Aboriginal people.

Note to readers

This release presents combined data from the 2007 to 2010 cycles of Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), featuring more than 30 health indicators. These include perceived health, smoking, second-hand smoke at home, access to a regular medical doctor, physical activity during leisure time, obesity, high blood pressure, drinking, fruit and vegetable consumption, diabetes, asthma, arthritis and life stress.

The CCHS is an ongoing survey that collects a wide range of information about the health status of Canadians, factors determining their health status and their use of health care services.

Residents of Indian reserves, health care institutions, some remote areas and full-time members of the Canadian Forces were excluded.

Available without charge in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table105-0512 and CANSIM table105-0513.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number3226.

For more statistics and analysis on the health of Canadians and the health care system, visit the Health in Canada module. This module is accessible from our homepage, under Features.

The article “Select health indicators of First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit, in Health at a Glance (Catalogue number82-624-X, free), is now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

You can also access the companion CANSIM tables through the latest electronic issue of Health Indicators (Catalogue number82-221-X, free), on the Other related data page.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; [email protected]) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; [email protected]).

NT5