The Canadian Institute for Health Information studies social issues in neighborhoods to analyze various factors that influence the health of residents. For this purpose, it has grouped the five major cities Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Halifaxinto neighborhoods. The criteria is based on five features namely income, education, recent immigrants, people living alone and lone-parent families.
Their report lists out the following factors as having an impact
* Amount of greenery around
* Safety of people on the streets
* Public transportation
* How well people know their neighbors
* Housing expenditure
Disparities in health conditions were great, particularly between high- and low-income earners. Neighborhoods situated close todowntown had fewer overweight or obese residents. In neighborhoods that are the least affluent, residents are less likely to report being physically active and less likely to be injured. The percentage of smokers did not vary much among neighborhoods.
In Toronto, people living around downtown were better educated and healthier compared to those in areas with lower levels of education and income
According to the study, of the five major cities, Calgary was the healthiest. In Calgary, 67% of youths and adults thought that their health was excellent or very good, followed by Halifax (63%), Vancouver (59%), Montreal (58%) and Toronto (56%), they reported.
The study also reported health of residents in 27 of the country's largest cities. It found that the health of residents differed in neighborhoods within cities.
'Place matters to your health,' says Dr. Cordell Neudorf, co-author of the report. 'Where we live and the environments we find ourselves in -- living, working and playing -- can have a direct impact on our health and also on our ability to make healthy choices.'
'Canada's life expectancy is among the best in the world, but not everyone has the same chances for a long life,' said Jennifer Zelmer, vice-president of research at CIHI.
'Differences between regions of Canada -- or even between neighborhoods within a city -- can be as large as differences between countries.'