Health Profile

An important part of effective and patient-centred health system planning is understanding the overall health profile of the people who live in the Central region. Taking this population health approach enables the Central LHIN to address the needs of our entire population and at the same time plan in a way that improves health equity and the experience of people who access health services in our communities.

In 2013, 32 per cent of Central LHIN residents over the age of 12 had a chronic condition and 9 per cent had multiple conditions. These rates were the lowest among all LHINs and were significantly lower than the provincial rates. The prevalence of multiple chronic conditions among Central LHIN residents has declined since 2009-2010.

The prevalence of arthritis and asthma was also significantly lower in Central LHIN compared to the province. Among all LHINs, Central LHIN residents had among the lowest prevalence rate of arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD), and diabetes. The prevalence rates of arthritis, asthma, diabetes and heart disease have declined since 2009-2010, while the rates of high blood pressure increased.

The selected chronic conditions accounted for 58 per cent of deaths, 26 per cent of total acute days and 20 per cent of hospital discharges for Central LHIN residents. Compared with Ontario, Central LHIN had comparable or lower mortality, hospital discharge rates, and total acute day rates for all selected chronic conditions.

Over time, Central LHIN residents’ mortality rates for diabetes, heart disease and stroke have decreased while the COPD and hypertension rates increased.

Using population health data that is further validated by our Health Service Providers, the Central LHIN is also able to better understand the distinct characteristics and attributes of local populations as well as existing care patterns. This enables us to more accurately identify and respond to needs at a neighbourhood level.

Health profile highlights for the Central LHIN’s six subregion planning areas, each with their own unique demographics, includes:

  • South Simcoe – With just over 75,000 residents, South Simcoe is the smallest of Central LHIN’s sub-regions. It has the highest proportion of people living in rural areas and the lowest proportion of residents living in low-income. This area has a higher rate of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma compared to the rest of the LHIN. It also has high rates for mental health-related physician visits for adults, but the lowest percentage of repeat emergency department visits for mental health.
  • Northern York Region – 219,786 people live in this sub-region. It has the lowest percentage of seniors over the age of 65 (13.6 per cent) and the second lowest percentage of residents living in low income (8.5 per cent). Combined with South Simcoe, Northern York has the highest rates for mental health physician visits for persons over the age of 20 but, in a variance from South Simcoe, this sub-region has the highest percentage of repeat emergency department visits.
  • Western York Region – With 511,646 residents, this is the most populous Central LHIN sub-region. It has the lowest unemployment rate (4.3 per cent) and the lowest percentage of lone-parent families (12.6 per cent). All five prevention and screening indicators in this subregion are better than the provincial rates. While this area has the lowest percentage of seniors (13.6 per cent), it has the second highest prevalence of mental health physician visits for persons age 65 and over. 
  • Eastern York Region – 376,839 people live in this subregion. It has the highest proportion of visible minorities – 67.1 per cent, versus the LHIN average of 46.9 per cent, and the provincial average of 25.9 per cent. Other than English, Chinese, Tamil and Persian Farsi are the most common languages spoken at home. All five prevention and screening indicators in this area are better than provincial rates. There is a higher rate for diabetes here compared to LHIN and provincial averages, but low rates for asthma and COPD. Eastern York Region has the lowest rate of emergency department visits per 1,000 people.
  • North York West – A full 100 per cent of the 284,763 residents here live within a large urban setting. This area has the lowest percentage of adults who have completed post-secondary education (52 per cent), the highest unemployment rate (5.9 per cent), and the highest percentage of lone-parent families. At 21.8 per cent, this area has more people living in low income than anywhere else in the LHIN, well exceeding the provincial rate of 13.8 per cent. North York West has higher disease prevalence compared to the LHIN average in all four indicators (asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Diabetes in this sub-region is particularly higher than the provincial average.
  • North York Central – With 395,339 residents – this is the second largest sub-region by population – and all of these people live within a large urban centre. Many residents are new to the area: in fact, it has the highest percentage of newcomers (58.6 per cent) and recent newcomers (12.5 per cent) across the LHIN’s planning areas. This area also has the highest percentage of seniors. While 79.4 per cent of adult residents have completed post-secondary education, 20.2 per cent are living in low-income, the second highest in the LHIN after North York West. North York Central has lower or comparable rates to the LHIN and provincial rates in all four disease prevalence indicators: asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.