Health Statistics and Data

Canadian Databases and Administrative Data


Statistics Canada
Basic starting point for any statistics on Canada. Should be the first place you search. The following three links are common Statistics Canada starting points.

Statistics Canada Health Profiles
This profile features health region data from a number of sources including Statistics Canada's health surveys, administrative data, and the census of population. The application is designed to give quick access to the latest health-related data available for a selected health region. A good starting point for seeing what is available for a particular area.

Statistics Canada's Health Indicators
Covers topics including health status, certain chronic illnesses and satisfaction with health care, by health care region. Has a larger number of specific indicators than the above, but doesn't pull them together into a profile.

Statistics Canada's time series database. It contains thousands of tables which cover a wide variety of social and economic aspects of Canadian life, including health conditions, disabilities, pregnancy outcomes, deaths by cause, health service spending, etc. 

First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey
Information on health and living conditions in First Nations communities, including topics such as family structure, education, employment, diabetes, and so on.

Indicators of Well-being in Canada
Includes social data such as housing adequacy as well as health.

Health Status, Diseases and Conditions

Public Health Agency of Canada
The Public Health Agency of Canada monitors diseases, injuries and other threats to public health in Canada. Among their tracking databases are:

Cancer Communicable Disease Incidence Flu Watch Injury Surveillance

Ontario Hospital Association Health System Facts

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
Has sections for statistics on adult health and addiction, student and adolescent drug and alcohol use, and gambling. Some provincial data is available. See also Resources from the CCSA Library Collection.

Public Health Agency of Canada - Mental Illness
See in particular the reports "The Human Face of Mental Health and Mental Illness in Canada 2006" and "A Report on Mental Illnesses in Canada".

Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre
Reports on the demographics of gambling revenue and the prevalence of problem gambling.

Ontario College of Nurses
Maintains detailed membership statistics. For other provinces, search for the appropriate college.

National Physician Survey
Carried out every three years and covers students, second year residents and practicing physicians.

Canadian Medical Association Statistical Information on Canadian Physicians
Physicians' demographics, migration, workload and renumeration.

The Health Care System

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)
monitors the health care system in Canada and maintains a collection of databases on health care professionals, health expenditures, and services. Summary data is available online through reports and tables, More detailed data is available to qualifying graduate students at no cost through the Graduate Student Data Access Program (GSDAP). Make your request well before you need the data to ensure it will be available in time. For other researchers this data is provided on a cost-recovery basis.

CIHI Health Indicators Databases
Cover different measures of performance of hospitals and the health system, by region.

Emergency department wait times are in this separate CIHI report.

Ontario Institute for Clinical Evaluative Services
Their publications page has a variety of information on the health care system in Ontario and nationally, with some statistics at the regional level. Of particular interest are the Atlases. Some of their information is available in the form of powerpoint slides for use in presentations.

Hospital Reports
System level and hospital-specific reports on hospital performance from the Health System Performance Research Network (HSPRN).

Ontario Wait Times
Waiting times for different types of surgery and diagnostic scans, for the province, regions and individual hospitals.

Ontario Rapid Risk Factor Surveilance System
The RRFSS is a telephone survey that monitors key public health issues relevant to local public health needs on behalf of Ontario Health Units. Researchers can request access to more detailed data.

Cancer Incidence in Canada
The annual Cancer Incidence in Canada tables provide information on the number of new cases and rates of cancer tumours and patients from 1992 onwards by five-year age-groups and sex for all Canadian provinces and territories as well as information on the primary ICD-O-3 sites of cancer. 

Health Care Professionals

Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) Health Human Resources Databases
Statistics and reports on physicians, regulated nurses, dentists, pharmacists, occupational therapists and other health care occupations.

2005 Survey of the Work and Health of Nurses
A one-time survey done by Statistics Canada. Covered registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered psychiatric nurses (RPNs).

The Canadian Nurses Association databases:

Nursing Education Statistics Nursing Workforce Statistics Certification Statistics
International Health Data Sources

U.S. Data Sources

CDC Wonder
The web site of the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Provides a variety of health and epidemological data sets covering diseases, natality, mortality, health risk behaviours and health care.

National Cancer Institute: SEER Database
Statistical information on cancer incidence and survival.

National Center for Health Statistics
Statistics and microdata on most aspects of health and healthcare in the United States.

International and Comparative Data Sources

OECD iLibrary
The most comprehensive source of comparable statistics on health and health care systems of the OECD countries. The database covers over 1200 indicators. The most recent data are for 2010, with some time series going back to 1960.

United Nations Databases
The UN has a variety of tables, databases and reports. A few places to start for health statistics:

Demographic and Social Statistics World Population Prospects database U.N. Statistical Databases (list)

Measure DHS Stat Compiler
Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) has participated in developing more than 200 surveys in over 75 countries, most of them developing countries. Data focuses include fertility, family planning, maternal and child health, as well as child survival, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and nutrition. DHS makes available both country-level indicators and survey microdata.

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction

World Health Organization Statistics
Most WHO technical programmes develop health-related epidemiological and statistical information which they make available on the WHO website. Topics include burden of disease, mortality data, an atlas of the health workforce, and a global health atlas.

Health Survey Microdata

The following are sources of microdata or raw data - data that needs to be analysed in a statistical package.

ODESI: Ontario Data Documentation, Extraction Service and Interface
ODESI is a repository of Canadian statistical data, in particular surveys by Statistics Canada released under the Data Liberation Initiative. Health surveys of note include the Canadian Community Health Surveys 2000-2006, the National Population Health Survey 1994-1999, the Joint Canada-U.S. Survey of Health, the Food Expenditure Survey 1984-2001, the 2001 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (a post-census survey of people with disabilities) and Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children 1997 / 1998.

ICPSR General Archive
ICPSR is the world's largest archive of social science data. The archive is international in scope but most resources are American. The general ICPSR archive contains a number of very relevant health datasets, such as the National Health Interview Survey, done regularly since 1969. Other surveys include the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health study, 1996-2001 and 2001-2004, the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health 1979-2004, and Health Behavior in School-Aged Children, 1996-1998.

ICPSR also contains some special collections of interest, such as the Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA) and the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA).

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