The Health of Ontario First Nations People
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OBJECTIVE: To describe the health of First Nations adults residing on Ontario reserves using data from the Ontario First Nations Regional Health Survey (OFNRHS). METHOD: Communities were randomly selected; individuals were systematically selected based on gender and age. Health questions were parallel to those used in the National Population Health Survey (NPHS) and included general health, chronic conditions, substance use, and health service utilization. RESULTS: Response rate was 86% (N=1094) in participating communities; 23 of 30 selected communities participated. Most OFNRHS respondents reported that their health was good or better. Comparisons of OFNRHS participants with NPHS Ontario respondents showed: some chronic health conditions (including diabetes, high blood pressure) were more common; a greater proportion reported smoking; and a substantially lower proportion indicated that they consumed alcohol in the past year. CONCLUSIONS: The OFNRHS provides important province-wide data to inform decisions by the First Nations people about how to intervene effectively to improve their health status.
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