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Age-Specific Rate

The number of events (e.g., cases of disease, deaths) in a particular age group in a particular region, divided by the number of persons in that age group in that region. The rate is usually reported per 100,000 population. The numerator and denominator refer to the same age group.

Age Standardized Rate

The rate that a population would have if the population had the same age distribution as a reference population. Age-standardization is used to compare rates of diseases or health outcomes between populations with different age distributions. For example, some sexually transmitted infections (STI's) are more common among 15–24-year-olds so a population with a higher proportion of this age group will have a higher overall incidence rate of STI's. In order to determine which population has a higher incidence rate regardless of age distribution, the rates must be age-standardized. HealthSTATS pages use the 2011 Canadian Standard population.



Census Subdivision (CSD)

Census subdivision (CSD) is the general term for municipalities (as determined by provincial/territorial legislation) or areas treated as municipal equivalents for statistical purposes (e.g., First Nation communities or reserves, settlements and unorganized territories as defined and labeled by Statistics Canada). Municipal status is defined by laws in effect in each province and territory in Canada.

Confidence Interval

The 95% confidence interval indicates the interval or range within which the true population percentage probably lies. The reason for using confidence intervals is due to the uncertainty, or sampling error, associated with using results obtained from a sample to draw conclusions about the entire population. The confidence interval (in our case, a 95% confidence interval) can also be interpreted as being 95% likely to include the percentage value we would have obtained if we had studied every member of the study population.

Crude Rate

The crude rate describes the number of new cases, births, deaths or other health outcome occurring in a specified population per year, usually expressed as a rate per 100,000 people at risk in the population. It does not account for ways in which the specific population in question may differ from a reference population. For example, Wasaga Beach has a much larger proportion of seniors (65 years and older) compared to the provincial rate and this may result in a higher crude rate of some health outcomes (e.g., falls) compared to the broader population.


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the standard reference for diagnosis of mental and behavioural disorders in Ontario and internationally. The DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is used to describe the features of and distinguish between mental disorders. The 4th edition of the DSM (DSM-IV) was used in Ontario up to the end of 2015, when the 5th edition (DSM-V) was adopted.




Gestational Age

Gestational age describes how far along a pregnancy is, typically measured in weeks from the first day of the woman or birth parent’s last menstrual cycle to the current date or the date of birth.


Herd Immunity

Herd immunity describes when a large part of the population of an area is immune to a specific disease, whether through immunization, previous infection, or a combination of the two. If enough people are resistant to infection from a specific virus or bacteria, it is difficult for the disease to spread to those who are at risk of infection (i.e., not immune).



The introduction of a vaccine, through vaccination, to the body resulting in an immune system response in the body that is similar to if it had been exposed to a disease naturally. The body’s immune system can remember the disease from the vaccine and prevent re-infection. Note that not all vaccines provide lifelong immunity and boosters, or additional doses, are sometimes required.


The number of new cases of disease in a defined population in a defined time period. This may be presented as a number or as a rate of new cases divided by the total population at risk (incidence rate).

International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10)

The International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) sets the standard for diagnostic classification for the compilation of national mortality and morbidity statistics by World Health Organization (WHO) member states, including Canada. The ICD has undergone several periodic revisions over the years, which have been coordinated by the WHO since 1948. The Canadian health care system currently uses the 10th revision (ICD-10). The most recent version of the ICD-10 is available on the WHO website:

The ICD-10 has undergone some modification to meet the specific administrative, epidemiological and public health research requirements of Canadians (ICD-10-CA). ICD-10-CA was developed by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) in collaboration with an expert panel of physicians, external field reviewers and the CIHI classification team. The ICD-10-CA is based on and is wholly comparable with WHO ICD-10 classification. The ICD-10-CA is the classification recommended in most clinical settings. It is the national standard for reporting morbidity statistics.





Material Deprivation

Material deprivation refers to the inability for individuals and communities to access and attain basic material needs. It includes income, housing quality, single parent households, government payments and educational attainment. Material deprivation is closely connected to poverty.

This measure is derived from the Ontario Marginalization Index (ON-Marg). In 2021, Public Health Ontario renamed the ON-Marg dimensions to move away from deficit-based language towards more strength-based language, and as such the Material Deprivation measure was renamed to Material Resource. At SMDHU, we are continuing to use the original terminology “Material Deprivation”, as we feel it is more intuitive and more easily communicated to the audience.


The average of a data set. The mean is found by adding all numbers together and then dividing the sum of the given numbers by the total amount of numbers.


The numerical value separating the higher half of a data sample, a population, or a probability distribution, from the lower half.


“Men+” includes  people, who regardless of their sex assigned at birth, identify as a man and may include  some people who identify as non-binary. Given the small size of the non-binary population, data aggregation to a two-category gender variable (women+ and men+) can be necessary to protect the confidentiality of responses provided.



Opioid Poisoning

Opioid poisoning includes all emergency visit or hospital discharge where there was an overdose or the substance was given or taken in error. The ICD-10-CA codes were limited to following relevant opioid poisonings:

  • T40.0 (poisoning by opium)
  • T40.1 (poisoning by heroin)
  • T40.2 (poisoning by other opioids)
  • T40.3 (poisoning by methadone)
  • T40.4 (poisoning by synthetic opioids)
  • T40.6 (poisoning by unspecified/other opioids).

Since these ICD-10-CA codes group opioids into broad categories, it is not possible to attribute emergency visits or hospitalizations to a specific opioid, such as fentanyl or oxycodone. Included were all emergency visits or hospitalizations where any diagnosis for opioid poisoning was used, excluding suspect or query diagnoses.



Parity refers to the number of times an individual has given birth to any infant with a gestational age of 20 weeks or more, regardless of whether the child was viable (living) or stillborn. A multiple pregnancy (e.g., twins) carried to a viable age counts as only one viable birth in describing parity.

Population Impact Number

The population impact number is an absolute measure that describes a potential reduction in the number of cases of an outcome that would occur in the hypothetical scenario that each income level experienced the rate of the highest income level. For example, in a hypothetical population, 300 mental illness-related hospitalizations could have been avoided if everyone had the same rate of mental illness-related hospitalizations as those living in the highest income group. On HealthSTATS, Population Impact Number is used for comparisons by income or material resources. The population impact number is only reported when the value is positive AND the rate calculated for each level of income is based on sufficiently large numbers to ensure the estimate is reliable. If either of these conditions are not met, the population impact number is reported as ‘not releasable’ on the HealthSTATS dashboards. A negative value for the population impact number implies an expected increase in the number of cases instead of a reduction, which cannot be interpreted in the context of this measure. 


The number of existing cases of disease or health condition at a particular time in a defined population.



Quintiles represent five equal groups into which a population or measure (e.g., rate) can be divided. In health status information published on HealthSTATS, quintiles are often used to categorize data included on maps into one of five groups for easy interpretation.


Rate Ratio

The rate ratio describes how many times higher or lower the rate of an outcome is in a population group of interest compared to a reference group. For example, the rate ratio in obesity between Canadian high school graduates compared to Canadians with a university degree was 3. This means, among Canadians, the rate of obesity among high school graduates was 3 times the rate among university graduates (PHAC). The rate ratio is only reported when the rate calculated for highest and lowest levels of income is based on sufficiently large numbers to ensure the estimate is reliable. If this condition is not met, the rate ratio is reported as ‘not releasable’ on the HealthSTATS dashboards.

Rate ratios less than 1 represent a negative association between the exposure (e.g., income level) and the outcome (e.g., suicide rate) in the exposed group compared to the unexposed group.


Subjective Socioeconomic Status

Subjective socioeconomic status (SSES) is a measure used in the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) to measure students’ perceptions of their family’s socioeconomic status. They are asked to rank how their family compares to Canadian society overall on a 10-step ladder from 10 or “best off” to 1 or “worst off”, based on money, education and jobs. High SSES reflects where students ranked their families between 8 and 10 on the ladder and low SSES reflects where students ranked their family from 1 to 5.





The introduction of a vaccine into the body for the purpose of triggering an immune system response in the body.


Women (+)

"Women+" includes people, who regardless of their sex assigned at birth, identify as a woman and may include some people who identify as  non-binary.  Given the small size of the non-binary population, data aggregation to a two-category gender variable (women+ and men+) can be necessary to protect the confidentiality of responses provided.




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