Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Asthma rates in Inuit below national average

Date:
May 3, 2010
Source:
Arctic Institute of North America
Summary:
New research shows that asthma rates in Inuit populations in northern Canada are below that of Aboriginal populations in the rest of the country, especially those living in urban areas. But researchers caution these figures may be more reflective of health care in the north than they are of the health of Inuit populations.

New research shows Inuit populations in the Canadian Arctic have asthma rates far below Aboriginal people in other parts of Canada, especially those in urban centres.

Related Articles


The study, published recently in the International Journal of Circumpolar Health, says reported cases of asthma in Inuit children was 5%, compared to 12% for all other Aboriginal groups. In Inuit adults, 5.4% of respondents had been diagnosed with asthma, compared to the national average of 11%.

Eric Crighton, lead author of the paper and Geography Professor at the University of Ottawa, says while it's not unusual to see lower rates of asthma in rural areas, that doesn't always mean rural residents are healthier than their urban cousins. While there is less air pollution in rural regions than in cities, in most other determinants of health -- such as income, education, housing and the availability of health care -- the North scores extremely low.

"It's my personal opinion . . . that it's the limited access to health care that explains this finding. Aboriginal populations are heavily underserved (by health care) all across Canada, but in the North it's a bit more extreme," says Crighton, adding "The biggest determinant of doctor reported asthma is whether you've been to the doctor."

The study is based on an analysis of data in Statistics Canada's 2001 Aboriginal People's Survey. A total of 60,500 adults in northern and southern Canada were surveyed. A child and youth questionnaire was administered to 34,495 respondents (parent, grandparents, etc.).

Crighton also found a relationship between income and incidents of asthma in Aboriginal children and adults. Nineteen percent of children in the lowest income group were reported to have asthma compared to 11% in the highest income group. These figures were similar in the adult Aboriginal population.

But while Crighton says "there is absolutely a link between socio-economic status (SES) and health in general," he adds that some of the SES indicators included in the Stats Canada data were not sufficiently sensitive to make a strong link between SES and asthma. "In the end, many of the SES variables weren't relevant." As an example, he points to an SES indicator that asked respondents if their homes were in need of major repair. "That's a tricky indicator. It might not mean the same thing to all respondents."

Other factors including exposure to second hand smoke, obesity, and chronic maternal stress are important potential risk factors to understand, but unfortunately these were not asked about in the survey

In the end, says Crighton, more research is required to determine a stronger link between SES and asthma, and to discover why there are fewer reported cases of asthma in Inuit populations and in Aboriginal populations living in rural areas and on reserves.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Arctic Institute of North America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Crighton EJ, Wilson K, Senιcal S. The relationship between socio-economic and geographic factors and asthma among Canada%u2019s Aboriginal populations. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 69(2): 138-150 [link]

Cite This Page:

Arctic Institute of North America. "Asthma rates in Inuit below national average." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503135434.htm>.
Arctic Institute of North America. (2010, May 3). Asthma rates in Inuit below national average. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503135434.htm
Arctic Institute of North America. "Asthma rates in Inuit below national average." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503135434.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins