Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in Leeds, Grenville & Lanark
Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease
The 2000/01 Canadian Community Health Survey, conducted by Statistics Canada, was analyzed to estimate the prevalence of CVD throughout the various health regions in Canada. (The prevalence of a condition is the percent of the population living with that condition at the time of the survey).
Results showed that the prevalence of CVD varied noticeably across health regions in Canada. In Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL), the prevalence of heart disease was higher than in the Ottawa public health region and Ontario and Canada as a whole.
The reasons for differences in CVD prevalence can be partly explained by differences in risk factors and socioeconomic conditions.
Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease
The prevalence of six CVD risk factors (smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, low income, diabetes and hypertension) throughout Canada was estimated using the 2000/01 Canadian Community Health Survey.
The study showed that the LGL area had 4 risk factors with greater prevalence than Ontario and Canada (Figure 1). In Leeds, Grenville and Lanark:
30.1% of people currently smoke, compared to 24.5% in Ontario and 26% in Canada. (Current smoking was defined as daily or occasional smoking). Further in-depth analysis indicated that 23% of CVD mortality in Canada is attributable to smoking alone.
20.5% of people are obese, compared to 15.4% in Ontario and 14.9% in Canada. (Obesity was defined as a body mass index of greater than or equal to 30).
14.0% of residents reported hypertension, compared to 14.0% in Ontario and 13.0% in Canada.
4.4% of residents reported diabetes, compared to 4.3% in Ontario and 4.2% in Canada.
Population Health Approach
The LGL District Health Unit uses this type of information to plan and develop health promotion programs aimed at reducing risk factors for CVD in the LGL population. When risk factors, such as smoking and obesity, are highly prevalent and pose a high risk for CVD, interventions to reduce the risk factor can have a large impact on the health of a population.
Prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in residents aged 12 years and older for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, Ontario and Canada.
Shani Gates, MHSc, Planning & Evaluation Consultant
In Leeds, Grenville and Lanark (LGL), the prevalence of heart disease was higher than in the Ottawa public health region and Ontario and Canada as a whole.