People living in the poorest neighbourhoods in Ontario more likely to suffer avoidable deaths than those living in the richest neighbourhoods

Posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Aerial view of a suburban neighbourhood.

Ontario residents living in the most deprived neighbourhoods had the highest risk of avoidable deaths compared to the most well-off neighbourhoods, according to researchers at ICES, a non-profit research institute that uses population-based health information to produce knowledge on a broad range of health care issues.

The study, published today in Canadian Journal of Public Health, found that there were 124,000 avoidable deaths in the most materially deprived areas of Ontario versus 66,000 avoidable deaths in the most well-off areas between 1993 and 2014. These rates were generally two to two and a half times higher than the least marginalized neighbourhoods, and these amounts increased through the study periods.

The researchers from ICES, The Ottawa Hospital, and Bruyère Research Institute looked at the trends in avoidable deaths in Ontario over the 20-year study period. They divided the deaths into those that are avoidable through:

  • Prevention such as by curbing alcohol and tobacco use or increasing vaccination uptake
  • Treatment of diseases like pneumonia, high blood pressure, and breast cancer

Between 1993 and 2014, avoidable deaths in Ontario decreased by almost half, mostly from advances in medical treatment of diseases.

To learn more, please visit the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute website here.


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Orian Labrèche
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