Lifestyle Indicators in Niagara

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Substance Use Rates

Smoking – Daily Smoking Rates

The following table looks at the self-reported adult daily smoking rate in the Niagara Regional Area Health Unit. Figures are expressed as a percentage of the population.

Self-Reported Adult Daily Smoking Rate, 2003-2014
2003 2005 2007-08 2009-10 2011-12 2013-14
Niagara 22.1% 19.6% 23.2% 18.3% 17.1% 20.4%
Ontario 18.3% 17.5% 17.6% 15.7% 15.5% 14.4%

 

Source: Public Health Ontario. Self-Reported Smoking Snapshot.
Retrieved from: http://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/DataAndAnalytics/Snapshots/Pages/Health-Behaviours—Smoking.aspx

Heavy Alcohol Consumption

Heavy drinking refers to having consumed five or more drinks, per occasion, at least once a month during the past year. This level of alcohol consumption can have serious health and social consequences. The table below highlights the self-reported heavy drinking rate in the Niagara Regional Area Health Unit. Figures are expressed as a percentage of the population.

Self-Reported Heavy Drinking Rate, 2003-2014
2003 2005 2007-08 2009-10 2011-12 2013-14
Niagara 22.4% 19.7% 22.5% 23.1% 23.8% 18.3%
Ontario 16.9% 17.6% 16.8% 17.1% 18% 17.9%

 

Source: Public Health Ontario. Self-Reported Alcohol Use Snapshot.
Retrieved from: http://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/DataAndAnalytics/Snapshots/Pages/Health-Behaviours—Alcohol-Use.aspx

Youth Drug Use

The following table shows the prevalence of student drug use in Niagara. The statistics come from a report entitled Student Drug Use and Health Survey. Acronyms in the table: over-the-counter (OTC), Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), Car/Relax/Alone/Forget/Friends/Trouble (CRAFFT; a drug abuse test).

Drug / Indicator Percentage Statistical Significance Compared to Province
Tobacco Cigarettes (95% Confidence Interval) 12.8
Smokeless (Chewing) Tobacco 10.2
Waterpipe (Hookah) 11.3
Electronic Cigarettes 14.9
Cannabis Oil/Liquid in an Electronic Cigarette 6.7
Alcohol 54.6
Alcohol Mixed with an Energy Drink 18.4
Binge Drinking (Past Month) 24.9
Drunkenness (Past Month) 22.5
Cannabis 29.7
Mushrooms/Mescaline 3.6
Ecstasy 5.5
Opioid Pain Relievers (Nonmedical) 12.8 p<0.05
Tranquillizers (Nonmedical) 1.8
OTC Cough/Cold Medication (Nonmedical) 5.1
High-Caffeine Energy Drinks 40.3
Any Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use 15.2 p<0.05
Any Drug Use including Cannabis 41.8
Any Drug Use excluding Cannabis 25.5
Hazardous/Harmful Drinking (AUDIT) 18.1
Drug Use Problem (CRAFFT) 13.9
Passenger/Alcohol 17.8
Passenger/Drugs 16.3
Cannabis-Driving (Drivers Grades 10-12) 9.0
Intoxicated at School 24.0
Was Given/Offered/Sold a Drug at School 27.4 p<0.05
Drug Use at School is a “Big Problem” 39.9 p<0.05
Was Offered/Sold a Drug Anywhere 30.0
Seen Drug Selling in Neighbourhood 25.0
Easy or Very Easy to Get Cigarettes 68.0
Easy or Very Easy to Get Alcohol 72.8
Easy or Very Easy to Get Cannabis 58.2

 

Source: Boak, A., Hamilton, H. A., Adlaf, E. M., Mann, R. E. (2015). Drug Use among Ontario Students: Detailed OSDUHS Findings. Toronto, ON: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Retrieved from http://www.camh.ca/en/research/news_and_publications/ontario-student-drug-use-and-health-survey/Documents/2015%20OSDUHS%20Documents/2015OSDUHS_Detailed_DrugUseReport.pdf

The Ontario Students Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS), administered by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), is the longest ongoing school survey of adolescents in Canada and one of the longest in the world. The survey has been conducted every 2 years since 1977 (1). Topics included in the survey include: alcohol, cannabis, other drug use, tobacco, mental health, physical activity, health eating, road safety, head injuries, family and school environments, and demographics.

In 2011, Niagara Region Public Health (NRPH) purchased an oversample of the OSDUHS from CAMH in order to get locally accurate information on the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of secondary students in Niagara. Prior to purchasing the oversample, NRPH had little to no reliable, population-level data for youth regarding their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours. In 2015, another oversample was purchased; this time it included students from grade 7 through 12. This provided us with rich data to understand the differences in knowledge, attitudes and behaviours among grade 7 and 8 and secondary students, and some ability to compare trends.

A series of infographics has been developed to accompany the results in this report.

Source: Health Behaviours and Perceptions of Niagara Students 2017, Niagara Region Public Health Retrieved from: http://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/07/OSDUHS-Report.pdf and http://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/07/OSDUHS-Infographic-Series-Combined.pdf

Physical Activity Rates

Physical activity is a significant measure of a community’s overall health, as inactivity and sedentary behaviours have been shown to lead to severe health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. The tables below highlight the rate at which individuals report being active and inactive during leisure time. Figures are expressed as a percentage of the population.

Self-Reported Rate of Being Active During Leisure Time, 2003-2014
2003 2005 2007-08 2009-10 2011-12 2013-14
Niagara 32.4% 31.5% 33.5% 34% 35.3% 31.1%
Ontario 27.2% 28.6% 26.2% 27.9% 30.5% 30.4%

 

Source: Public Health Ontario. Self-Reported Physical Activity Snapshot.
Retrieved from: http://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/DataAndAnalytics/Snapshots/Pages/Health-Behaviours—Physical-Activity.aspx

Self-Reported Rate of Being Inactive During Leisure Time, 2003-2014
2003 2005 2007-08 2009-10 2011-12 2013-14
Niagara 43.2% 45.8% 41.9% 40.4% 41.2% 42.5%
Ontario 48% 46.7% 50% 48.5% 44.9% 45.3%

 

Source: Public Health Ontario. Self-Reported Physical Activity Snapshot.
Retrieved from: http://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/DataAndAnalytics/Snapshots/Pages/Health-Behaviours—Physical-Activity.aspx

Nutrition Rates

The following table provides insight into the percentage of the Niagara population that reports consuming the recommended five or more servings of vegetables and fruits per day.

Self-Reported Consumption of Vegetables and Fruits Five or More Times per Day, 2003-2014
2003 2005 2007-08 2009-10 2011-12 2013-14
Niagara 40.2% 46% 42.4% 39.4% 38.5% 39%
Ontario 42% 43.3% 41.2% 42.6% 38.5% 38.9%

 

Source: Public Health Ontario. Self-Reported Nutrition and Healthy Weights Snapshot.
Retrieved from: http://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/DataAndAnalytics/Snapshots/Pages/Health-Behaviours—Nutrition-and-Healthy-Weights.aspx

Information about school nutrition programs provided by Niagara Nutrition Partners is available in the People Getting Started Sector of this report.

Dental Health Rates

Public Health Ontario publishes data on the measure of self-reported prevalence of having visited the dentist in the past year. Figures are expressed as a percentage of the population. Additional oral health data is available, including rates of brushing twice daily and having dental insurance.

Self-Reported Prevalence of Having Visited the Dentist in the Past Year, 2003-2014
2005 2009-10 2013-14
Niagara 66.8% 74.6% 73.4%
Ontario 68.6% 70.8% 71.6%

 

Source: Public Health Ontario. Oral Health Snapshot.
Retrieved from: http://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/DataAndAnalytics/Snapshots/Pages/Oral-Health.aspx

The Niagara Dental Health Coalition conducted a survey in 2017 to identify barriers to accessing dental care in Niagara for adults 18 and over. The survey received 1,334 responses from residents across all twelve lower-tier municipalities in Niagara.

Key survey findings include:

  • 69% of survey respondents cannot afford to pay for dental care
  • 57% of survey respondents have no access to workplace or publicly funded dental health benefits
  • 61% of survey respondents reported their dental health as fair or poor
  • 30% of survey respondents had not visited a dentist in three or more years
  • 28% visited a hospital emergency room, family doctor, or a walk-in clinic for dental emergencies

There are many concerning implications related to the lack of access to dental care. Survey respondents indicated a high percentage of dental health concerns experienced over the past year, including:

  • Tooth pain – 60%
  • Cavities – 50%
  • Missing, loose, or broken teeth – 49%
  • Abscesses – 22%

As well, survey respondents experienced significant impacts on their overall quality of life, including:

  • Difficulty eating – 61%
  • Low self esteem – 47%
  • Difficulty eating – 33%
  • Talking – 27%

Source: Niagara Dental Health Coalition. Niagara Dental Health Coalition Region-Wide Survey Results and Implications.
Retrieved from: http://www.niagaraknowledgeexchange.com/community-blog/niagara-dental-health-coalition-region-wide-survey-results-and-implications/

Return to Health and Wellness 2017

 

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