Health statistics are integral to making the best decisions for health care, whether at the individual or community level. Here are a few places to start your search for health statistics [Box].
The BC Centre for Disease Control offers data on many diseases, including several dashboards that allow interaction with data on such things as chronic diseases and reportable diseases, displayed by several criteria (over time, by gender, by health area). This is where you want to go if you’re wondering about the measles infection rate for Southern Vancouver Island.
BC health authorities may offer statistics such as education levels, overall population health, provider availability in the community, or prevalence of certain conditions. The Provincial Health Services Authority supplies access to the BC Community Health Atlas. The atlas allows for investigation and manipulation of data, such as the number of incident cases of hypertension by local health area.
Topic-specific research and advocacy organizations and centres often collect data at a highly detailed level for particular health conditions or populations. The British Columbia Centre on Substance Use offers data and clinical advice from its various research projects, such as analyses of risk-mitigation services in the context of COVID-19 and the opioid epidemic. The Health Equity Collaborative’s report contains valuable information about health barriers for sexual- and gender-diverse people.
Health statistics are also hiding among other data at BC Statistics, including rates and causes of fatalities. Beyond BC, provincial data can often be found in national reports, such as those from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Happy hunting!
This article is the opinion of the Library of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.
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Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
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