Coastal Canadians living in high-risk neighborhoods in poorer health: study

Feb 10, 2011

Canadians living in deprived neighbourhoods are twice as likely to have poor health if they live on the Atlantic or Pacific Coast, according to a new study by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital.

Past studies have shown that rates of illness and death are significantly higher in poorer neighbourhoords. "But this research shows where people live in Canada plays a big role in how strongly they are affected," said Heather White, a researcher at St. Michael's Centre for Research on Inner City Health.

On average, Canadians living in deprived neighbourhoods – those characterized by low income, low education, high unemployment and poor housing – were 10 per cent more likely to report compared to their more affluent neighbours.

However, people living in deprived neighbourhoods on Canada's Atlantic coast were 20 per cent were more likely to report poor health. The figure is 30 per cent on the Pacific coast – more than twice that in the Prairies and Central .

The study appeared in the February issue of Health & Place journal.

White said there were many possible explanations. People on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts have less access to health care and fresh and affordable food, and there is less funding to support places to exercise and promote good health.

Both these coasts also have higher rates of mental health disorders and addiction, which increase among residents of poorest neighbourhoods.

The study included data on 120,290 Canadians living in 3,668 urban neighbourhoods, and measured men and women's self-reports of "poor health." Self-reported health is a reflection of life expectancy, mortality rates and the prevalence of chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

"These findings highlight that a one-shot national solution for reducing poverty and inequality may not work," White said. "Instead, health policies should target specific regions and at greatest risk."

Explore further: US dietary guidelines focus on curtailing sugar

Provided by St. Michael's Hospital

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study finds gender gap persists in cardiac care

Dec 09, 2009

Gender differences persist in the quality of cardiac care across Ontario, according to a health study by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). Ontario women who had ...

Recommended for you

US dietary guidelines focus on curtailing sugar

11 minutes ago

The latest word from an advisory panel that helps form U.S. dietary guidelines confirms what nutritionists have been saying in recent years: Cholesterol-rich foods like eggs and shrimp aren't as bad for us ...

Diet key to lifespan and fertility

25 minutes ago

It may be possible to live longer and increase fertility by manipulating diet, according to world-first research in mice from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.