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Population & Public Health Surveillance

The Population & Public Health Program collects, analyzes, and shares data about health status and chronic diseases as well as about protective and risk factors among British Columbians.
Our activities

The PPH surveillance team engages in the collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of data about demography, socio-economic status, health status, chronic diseases as well as their protective and risk factors among British Columbians.

The team works closely with the Ministry of Health, PHSA agencies, the BC Observatory for Population and Public Health, regional health authorities, and universities, aiming to enhance provincial surveillance capacity through collaboration and partnership. 

Community health data

PPH works closely with partners at the Ministry of Health, regional health authorities, and community organizations to create standardized data, tools, and resources that support community health across the province. We support our partners from health, education, and various community sectors to use these tools in informing their local-level planning and decision-making.

The British Columbia Index of Multiple Deprivation (BCIMD) provides area-based measures of deprivation to examine social inequities in British Columbia. The Index comprises four dimensions: residential instability, economic dependency, ethno-cultural composition and situational vulnerability. Data for the BCIMD at the Community Health Services Area (CHSA) level are now available for download.

Please visit the BC Community Health Data website for the most recent community health profiles, health database, BC Community Health Atlas, and archived profiles.

Health equity indicators

Various aspects of the health of the population are reported using health indicators, including health equity indicators. Health indicators are quantifiable measures for describing health status, determinants of health, and health system performance. 

Healthy Families BC evaluation

Healthy Families BC (HFBC) is the BC Government's health promotion and chronic disease prevention agenda. PPH leads, coordinates, and supports various components of the HFBC Communities and Schools initiatives in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and regional health authorities.

Through a range of projects, surveillance activities support all PPH initiatives such as promoting health equity and healthy weights, food security, and HFBC. The surveillance team is also co-leading, with the Ministry of Health, to evaluate the HFBC initiatives and has completed evaluation of two provincial HFBC initiatives: Healthy Communities and Healthy Schools. The surveillance team is working on expanding the data access and their linkages from the Ministry of Health and the PHSA agencies for enhancing the chronic disease surveillance system in the province. This initiative also supports the data needs of PHSA agencies and programs including the BC Observatory for Population and Public Health.  The team participates in collaborative research with academic institutions such as two research projects on-going in a tripartite collaborative with the University of Northern BC and Northern Health.

Reports & resources

Area-Based Disparities in Breast Cancer Screening Participation in British Columbia

A collaboration of the Provincial Health Services Authority’s (PHSA’s) programs, the BCCDC’s Population and Public Health, and BC Cancer examined the 30-month breast cancer screening participation rate of BC women aged 50 to 69 years using data from the BC Cancer Breast Screening Mammography. Released: September 2020

Measuring Multimorbidity to Support Chronic Disease Management and Prevention

The Population and Public Health team introduced an indicator measuring multimorbidity prevalence in individuals living with two or more chronic conditions from a list of 16 chronic diseases listed in chronic disease registries. The indicator is intended for use in health surveillance on a periodic basis to support management and prevention of chronic diseases in BC. Released: May 2020

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) in Schools: Project Summary

In the fall of 2017, the Population and Public Health Program, on behalf of the provincial Healthy Schools BC Working Group, commissioned an academic team to complete a study of the pilot year of the SOGI 1 2 3 program. This report summarizes the study and its findings. Released: 2020

  • Summary report

Community Health Data Website: Driven by the Local Needs in British Columbia

The Population and Public Health team at the BC Centre for Disease Control undertook a project to support the integration of data into the community health planning process in British Columbia. Details of this project were published in the Evidence-Informed Decision Making (EIDM) Casebook (Issue 3) by the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. Released: 2019 

Indicators of Health Equity for BC: Disparities in Morbidity and Mortality

Presentation at the BCCDC Grand Rounds. Released; June 2019

Area-Based Socioeconomic Disparities in Mortality due to Unintentional Injury and Youth Suicide in British Columbia, 2009–2013

The association between health outcomes and socioeconomic status (SES) has been widely documented, and mortality due to unintentional injuries continues to rank among the leading causes of death among British Columbians. This paper quantified the SES-related disparities in the mortality burden of three British Columbia's provincial injury prevention priority areas: falls among seniors, transport injury, and youth suicide. Released: February 2019

The Economic Burden of Risk Factors in British Columbia, 2015: Excess Weight, Tobacco Smoking, Alcohol Use, Physical Inactivity and Low Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

The report estimates the current provincial and regional prevalence rates as well as the direct health-care costs and indirect costs associated with each risk factor.  Released: November 2018

Healthy Schools BC Evaluation

This report presents an evaluation that was conducted for the Healthy Schools BC (HSBC) initiative. HSBC supports schools and their health partners in implementing the Comprehensive School Health (CSH) approach and is a partnership between the ministries of Health and Education, the Directorate of Agencies for School Health BC (DASH), health authorities, and education partners. Released: September 2017

Healthy Families BC Communities Evaluation

This report presents an evaluation that was conducted for the Healthy Communities BC (HFBC-C) initiative. HFBC-C involves fostering successes and building stronger relationships between the health sector and local governments to effectively implement healthy community actions. The initiative is a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), regional health authorities, BC Healthy Communities (BCHC) Society, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), and other key stakeholders. Released: September 2017

Healthy Families BC Communities Evaluation Progress Report 2014-15

This report summarizes the evaluation of the second year of the Healthy Families BC Communities initiative between April 2014 and March 2015 and the progress since the beginning of the initiative. Released: June 2016.

Regional variations in the economic burden attributable to excess weight, physical inactivity and tobacco smoking across British Columbia

Krueger H, Koot JM, Rasali DP, Gustin SE, Pennock M. Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can. 2016 Apr;36(4):76-86. doi: 10.24095/hpcdp.36.4.02.PMID: 27077793 

Health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE)

Infographic resource for health professionals that introduces health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE) as a population health measure. Explores life expectancy and HALE for British Columbians with and without hypertension and diabetes. Released: December 2015

The economic benefits of risk factor reduction in British Columbia: Excess weight, physical inactivity & tobacco smoking

Estimates the current and project future health-care costs and indirect productivity losses associated with each of three chronic disease risk factors: excess weight (obesity and overweight), physical inactivity and tobacco smoking. Released: July 2015

Life expectancy ranking of Canadians among the populations in selected OECD countries and its disparities among British Columbians

Zhang LR, Rasali D. Arch Public Health. 2015 Apr 3;73(1):17. doi: 10.1186/s13690-015-0065-0. eCollection 2015.PMID: 25922668

Student Health in BC: Provincial & regional highlights

This report presents provincial and HSDA-level student health data for seven priority areas: healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco use, healthy weight, mental health, learning to stay healthy at school and school connectedness. Released: December 2014

British Columbia Healthy Eating Population Health Survey, 2013

Provincial findings of a survey assessing healthy eating knowledge and behaviours among adult British Columbians. Released: October 2014

Status report on the British Columbia Paediatric Diabetes Program

Evidence review on the status of health care for children and youth with diabetes and other complex chronic diseases. Released: October 2010

Health assessment of school-aged children (HASAC)

Feasibility study to provide participating schools with data to assess students' health and assist in planning healthy school activities. Released: March 2010

Summary report on health for B.C. from regional, longitudinal & gender perspectives

Describes health behaviours, health conditions, and well-being among British Columbians at the health service delivery area, health region, and provincial levels. Released: March 2010

Local-level data on income & poverty for BC from 2006 Census

Key graphs and figures related to income and poverty at the local level in B.C. according to 2006 Census data. Released: October 2008

Population & public health indicators for BC

Comprehensive list of relevant indicators for monitoring and reporting on population health in B.C. Released: October 2008

Women's health: Evidence reviews

Evidence reviews summarize women's health issues in B.C. to facilitate action. Released: October 2008

Heart health

Respiratory disease

Type 2 diabetes

Identifying determinants for hospitalization based on healthcare utilization records

Explores patterns in healthcare use in Richmond, B.C. Released: June 2008

Life expectancy as a measure of population health: Comparing BC with other Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games host jurisdictions

Assessment of life expectancy in B.C. as compared to other developed countries that have hosted Winter Games. Released: April 2007

British Columbia Health & Wellness Survey

Results of a survey to measure health behaviours among people in 26 communities across all five regional health authorities in B.C. Released: January 2007

Pre-2007 reports

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