Majority of Quebecers have positive view on health, lifestyle: study

A cyclist rides his bike past the Atwater Market in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

The Institut de la statistique du Québec released a study Tuesday concerning the health of Quebecers based on data collected from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS).

The CCHS is an annual report that has been gathering answers from hundreds of thousands of Canadians aged 12 and up since 2001.

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The Quebec institute analyzed results from 2007 to 2014 under five main themes: the state of Quebecers’ mental health and well-being; use of health care services; alcohol and tobacco consumption; disease and health limitations; lifestyle and social conditions.

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According to Katrina Joubert, lead author and research analyst, some of the results paint a fairly positive picture.

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Trends such as the daily use of cigarettes are on a decline (from 19 per cent to 15 per cent) while those who perceived themselves to be physically active was up from 59 per cent to 64 per cent.

The majority (59 per cent) of Canadians stated that their general health was “excellent or very good.”

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That said, the percentage of Quebecers reported being “overweight and obese” has been on a slight increase since 2007, while the number of respondents stating that regular pain and discomfort prevents them from activity has experienced a significant bump.

Data also showed 74 per cent of Quebecers believed their mental health was “excellent or very good” (down from 77 percent in 2007-2008).

About 94 per cent were very satisfied or satisfied with their life.

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The percentage of people who responded that their days were “quite a bit to extremely stressful” was maintained at 26 per cent, above the 23 per cent national average.

Joubert indicated that one of the main findings was the fact that respondents with a university degree seemed to score higher on all positive health attributes compared to those with no diploma.

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Specifically, 27 per cent of those without a diploma suffered from “moderate to serious health problems” compared to 10 per cent of those with a university degree.

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In contrast, those with a degree are more susceptible to visiting a mental health professional compared to those without.

Joubert concluded that while the study helps to provide long term health trends, more research is needed to understand the reasons behind some of the results, such as why an increasing number of 12 to 17-year-olds are consulting mental health professionals (six per cent in 2009-2010 compared to 10 per cent in 2013-2014).

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