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New Issue--Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada, Special Topic: Health Equity, Volume 36:2, February 2016

This issue contains the following peer-reviewed research articles.

1. “Socioeconomic gradients in cardiovascular risk in Canadian children and adolescents,” by Y. Shi, M. de Groh and C. Bancej

Key points:

  • The prevalence of obesity in young boys (18.5%) was more than double that of young girls (7.7%). This gender difference was not evident in adolescents, with 13.9% of boys and 14.8% of girls classified as obese.  
  • Among both children and adolescents, boys were more physically fit than girls.
  • Canadian children and adolescents, particularly girls, show significant socioeconomic gradients in obesity, physical fitness and several physiological markers of risk of cardiovascular disease.  Those in low income and/or low education households had poorer health outcomes.

2. “Prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its risk factors in Canadian children and adolescents: Canadian Health Measures Survey Cycle 1 (2007-2009) and Cycle 2 (2009-2011),” by M. MacPherson, M. de Groh, L. Loukine, et al.
Key points:

  • Having metabolic syndrome (MetS) increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by two and type 2 diabetes by five.
  • Only 2.1% of Canadian youth have MetS. However, one-third of Canadian youth have one or more risk factors for MetS.
  • The biggest risk factor for MetS is abdominal obesity. As more children and youth are obese than in the past, MetS will likely increase among Canadian youth and young adults.
  • Youth who live in better off or better educated households have the lowest risk for MetS.

This issue contains the following non-peer-reviewed articles.

1. “Commentary – Advancing health equity to improve health: the time is now,” by B. Jackson and P. Huston

Key points:

  • Canada’s interest in health inequities goes back over 40 years, with the landmark 1974 Lalonde report, and continues with the 2011 Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health.
  • Research in this area includes documenting and tracking health inequalities, exploring their multidimensional causes, and developing and evaluating ways to address them.
  • Recent theoretical and methodological advances in the areas of implementation science and population health intervention research have strengthened our capacity to develop effective interventions.
  • With the launch of a new health equity series beginning this month, the journals Canada Communicable Disease Report and Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada will continue to reflect and foster analysis of social determinants of health, with a focus on intervention studies that advance health equity.

2. “Release notice – Strengthening the evidence base on social determinants of health: measuring everyday discrimination through a CCHS rapid response module”

Key points:

  • In March 2014, Statistics Canada released new data on discrimination in Canada, collected through the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) and  funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. These data are now available to researchers across the country through the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN).  Links to the CRDCN are provided.

Read this issue online at