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Ford J.D.,McGill University | Willox A.C.,Cape Breton University | Chatwood S.,Institute for Circumpolar Health Research | Furgal C.,Trent University | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2014

Climate change will have far-reaching implications for Inuit health. Focusing on adaptation offers a proactive approach for managing climate-related health risks-one that views Inuit populationsasactiveagents in planning and responding at household, community, and regional levels. Adaptation can direct attention to the root causes of climate vulnerability and emphasize the importance of traditional knowledge regarding environmental change and adaptive strategies. An evidence base on adaptation options and processes for Inuit regions is currently lacking, however,thusconstrainingclimate policy development. In this article, we tackled this deficit, drawing upon our understanding of the determinants of health vulnerability to climate change in Canada to propose key considerations for adaptation decision-making in an Inuit context.

Young K.,University of Alberta | Chatwood S.,Institute for Circumpolar Health Research | Bjerregaard P.,National Institute of Public Health
Arctic | Year: 2015

This paper describes the elements involved in observing health in circumpolar regions, the status of current observation systems, and gaps within the monitoring networks. The aim is to provide a starting point for discussion of the role that health monitoring might play in developing Arctic observing networks and initiatives that aim to improve the health status of circumpolar populations. It is hoped that this background information will provide direction for further development of monitoring systems and networks through supporting data capture, analysis, and uptake. © The Arctic Institute of North America

Young T.K.,University of Alberta | Ng C.,University of Toronto | Chatwood S.,Institute for Circumpolar Health Research | Chatwood S.,University of Toronto
International Journal of Circumpolar Health | Year: 2015

Background. Health surveys are a rich source of information on a variety of health issues, including health care. Objectives. This article compares various national and regional surveys in terms of their geographical coverage with respect to the Canadian North, especially their Aboriginal population, and the comparability of the survey contents relating to health care. Methods. Three surveys were selected as providing some information on health care, with separate estimates for the North and its Aboriginal populations. They are the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) and the First Nations Regional Health Survey (RHS). Results. Different surveys focus on different categories of Aboriginal people, and no single survey has covered all categories of Aboriginal people in the North consistently. RHS is targeted at the on-reserve First Nations population only. APS and CCHS sample the off-reserve First Nations population as well as Métis and Inuit. To achieve adequate sample size for North–South comparisons and comparisons among Aboriginal groups within the North, several cycles of the biennial/annual CCHS can be merged, producing a large data set with consistent coverage of topics using comparable questions. The content areas of the 3 surveys can be broadly categorized as health status, health determinants and health care. Substantial variation exists across surveys in the domains covered. There are also changes over time in terms of definitions, questions and even basic concepts. The available health care content of the 3 surveys focus on access to different types of health services, contact with different categories of health professionals, unmet health needs and the use of preventive services. Many important dimensions of health care are not covered. Not all these basic indicators are available for the North or its Aboriginal populations. Conclusions. A comprehensive survey of health care in the North with sufficient sample size to provide reliable estimates for its subpopulations – urban and remote, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis – would provide useful information to decision-makers and service providers. Analytical studies can also be conducted to investigate the correlations and interactions among health status, health determinants and health care and assess whether such relationships differ among the different population groups. © 2015 T. Kue Young et al.

Ng C.,University of Toronto | Chatwood S.,Institute for Circumpolar Health Research | Chatwood S.,University of Toronto | Young T.K.,University of Toronto
Preventing Chronic Disease | Year: 2011

Background: Information on arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders among Aboriginal people is sparse. Survey data show that arthritis and rheumatism are among the most commonly reported chronic conditions and their prevalence is higher than among non-Aboriginal people. Objective: To describe the burden of arthritis among Aboriginal people in northern Canada and demonstrate the public health significance and social impact of the disease. Methods: Using cross-sectional data from more than 29 000 Aboriginal people aged 15 years and over who participated in the Aboriginal Peoples Survey 2006, we assessed regional differences in the prevalence of arthritis and its association with other risk factors, co-morbidity and health care use. Results: The prevalence of arthritis in the three northern territories (" North" ) is 12.7% compared to 20.1% in the provinces (" South" ) and is higher among females than males in both the North and South. The prevalence among Inuit is lower than among other Aboriginal groups. Individuals with arthritis are more likely to smoke, be obese, have concurrent chronic diseases, and are less likely to be employed. Aboriginal people with arthritis utilized the health care system more often than those without the disease. Conclusion: Aboriginal-specific findings on arthritis and other chronic diseases as well as recognition of regional differences between North and South will enhance program planning and help identify new priorities in health promotion.

Chatwood S.,University of Toronto | Chatwood S.,Institute for Circumpolar Health Research | Bjerregaard P.,University of Southern Denmark | Kue Young T.,University of Toronto
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2012

Global health should encompass circumpolar health if it is to transcend the traditional approach of the "rich North" assisting the "poor South." Although the eight Arctic states are among the world's most highly developed countries, considerable health disparities exist among regions across the Arctic, as well as between northern and southern regions and between indigenous and nonindigenous populations within some of these states. While sharing commonalities such as a sparse population, geographical remoteness, harsh physical environment, and underdeveloped human resources, circumpolar regions in the northern hemisphere have developed different health systems, strategies, and practices, some of which are relevant to middle and lower income countries. As the Arctic gains prominence as a sentinel of global issues such as climate change, the health of circumpolar populations should be part of the global health discourse and policy development. (Am J Public Health.

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