A population-based analysis of the health experience of African Nova Scotians

Kisely, Steve, Terashima, Mikiko and Langille, Don (2008) A population-based analysis of the health experience of African Nova Scotians. CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal, 179 7: 653-658. doi:10.1503/cmaj.071279

Author Kisely, Steve
Terashima, Mikiko
Langille, Don
Title A population-based analysis of the health experience of African Nova Scotians
Journal name CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0820-3946
Publication date 2008-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1503/cmaj.071279
Volume 179
Issue 7
Start page 653
End page 658
Total pages 6
Place of publication Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Publisher Canadian Medical Association
Language eng
Subject 111711 Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance)
1117 Public Health and Health Services
Formatted abstract
Background: People of African descent living in Britain and the United States have higher rates of morbidity from chronic disease than among the general population. We investigated whether the same applied to people of African descent living in a Canadian province.

Methods: We used administrative data to calculate 10-year cumulative incidence rate ratios for the period 1996–2005 for treated circulatory disease, diabetes mellitus and psychiatric disorders in Preston (population 2425), a community of predominantly African Nova Scotians. We used data for the province of Nova Scotia as a whole as the population reference standard. We also calculated 10-year incidence rate ratios for visits to family physicians and specialists and for admissions to hospital. We compared these findings with those in 7 predominantly white communities in Nova Scotia with otherwise similar socio-economic characteristics.

Results: In the province as a whole, we identified 787 787 incident cases for the 3 disease groups over the 10-year period. Incidence rate ratios for the community of interest relative to the provincial population were significantly elevated for the 3 diseases: circulatory disease (1.19, 95% CI 1.08–1.29), diabetes (1.43, 95% CI 1.21–1.64) and psychiatric disorders (1.13, 95% CI 1.06–1.20). Incidence rate ratios in the community of interest were also higher than those in the comparison communities. Visits to family physicians and specialists for circulatory disease and diabetes were similarly elevated, but the pattern was less clear for visits for psychiatric disorders and hospital admissions.

Interpretation: African Nova Scotians had higher morbidity levels associated with treated disease, which could not be explained by socio-economic characteristics, recent immigration or language. Apart from psychiatric disorders, use of specialist services was consistent with morbidity. Further study is needed to investigate the relative contribution of genetic, biological, behavioural, psychosocial and environmental factors.
Keyword Disease
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 18 Nov 2009, 22:21:47 EST