Analyzing Central LHIN’s health profile helps us work towards our goal of reducing health disparities and ensuring equitable access to quality health care in our communities by identifying populations that would benefit from focused initiatives. Generally, our residents have a significantly lower incidence of heart disease, arthritis and multiple chronic conditions than that of Ontario as a whole, and rank among the lowest across the LHINs. Central LHIN residents have the highest life expectancy at birth of 83.6 years and the second highest life expectancy at age 65 in Ontario.
However, social determinants of health such as unemployment, education levels and risk behaviours – such as smoking, obesity and inactivity – have all been shown to affect how healthy people are. Within our planning areas there are variations in health status due to the differences in these characteristics. South Simcoe/Northern York Region and North York West are two planning areas that have been identified as high risk from a population health standpoint. A higher number of residents in these two planning areas face serious chronic diseases and obstacles to accessing primary care, compared to other planning areas in the LHIN.
The growing health needs of our aging population will significantly impact Central LHIN over the next five to 10 years and beyond. The prevalence of multiple chronic conditions increases dramatically with age. Nearly 40 per cent of current Central LHIN residents aged 65-74 and 56 per cent of those aged 75 plus have two or more chronic conditions. These conditions account for six out of 10 deaths, 20 per cent of acute hospital discharges, and 25 per cent of acute hospital days for our residents.