“Poverty is a major health threat in Toronto. Compared to people with higher incomes, people living in poverty have: Less access to nutritious food and physical activity; more exposure to pollution; more infections: more heart disease, diabetes, mental illness and cancer; smaller babies; and shorter lives. These health impacts of poverty are preventable. Eliminating poverty is the best medicine money can buy.”
-Dr. David McKeown – Medical Officer of Health, Toronto
“Poverty means not having. Not having the basics: good housing, education, childcare, transit, health services, dental care, and extra curricular activities. Not having the things that prepare us for life, keep us well connected with others. Not having a reasonable shot of doing well. Poverty is about incomes. But it’s mostly about affordability. When the basics are unaffordable, poverty means isolation and desperation.”
-Armine Yalnizyan, Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
The Current Situation: What is known about Ontario Women?
Echo Improving Women’s Health in Ontario – Ontario Women’s Health Background Report, 2011, Toronto
Ontario Demographic Characteristics
Over half of all immigrants to Canada settle in Ontario where the immigrant population is now over 3million, one quarter of Ontario’s total population. Most immigrants are settiling in urban areas such as Toronto and 48.6% are women over the age of 18…”
Individual Factors for Ontario Women
“…homeless and low-income women have difficulties with food security and access to healthy foods. For example one in four low-income women reported not having enough to eat or did not eat the quality of foods they wanted because of a lack of income….women with lower levels of education have more risk factors for chronic disease than those with more education…….. Specific cultures of groups of women have smoking rates which are significantly higher than those in the general population such as Aboriginal women, single mothers, young women, lesbian and bisexual women women as well as women with lower income levels and those with mental health issues…”
Mental Health and Addictions
“…For example, women in Ontario are twice as likely to report and episode of depressions during their lifespan, with low-income womenhaving higher rates than those from higher income households…
Physical Chronic Conditions (Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, Arthritis)
“…almost 40% of low-income women, 48% of Aboriginal women and 34% of white women reported having two or more chronic conditions. The burden of chronic illness and disability was found to be highest among low income and Aboriginal women in Ontario…….35% of low income women aged 65 and older reported activity limitations…..
“…lung cancer was more commonly diagnosed in lower income women,…….low income women are less likely to be screened than individuals living in higher income neighbourhoods…”
“There is an increased risk among those living in poverty; one in five low-income women aged 65 and older reported having diabetes…There are challenges for low-income women in taking care of their diabetes….
“The burden of disease is also higher among those with lower education and income levels…Women with arthritis are impacted in multiple ways, as they are less likely to be in the work force, and therefore may not have access to health care benefits or have financial means to pay for extra support or help within the home, assistive devices or rehabilitaion surgey. These conditions are more prevalent for those who have the least resources of all, that is low income, homeless and marginalized women…”
“..Low birth weight (LBW) is an important predictor of future health and development problems for babies. LBW occurs more frequently in socioeconomically disadvantaged women who smoke during their pregnacies.. There is intermittent or complete lack of access to maternity care in some rural and remote communities….In Ontario, in 2008/09, a total of 47,821 abortions were performed…”
“..The Framework priorities are (1) reduce gendered health inequities resulting from women’s social status/roles; (2) design and implement care delivery systems that strengthen the reliability and quality of care;(3) mandate planning and accountability requirements that reflect women’s priorities..”
February 2011 Volume 2 Ontario Women’s Health Study Equity Report
Improving Health and Promoting Health Equity in Ontario
Reproductive and Gynaecological Health, Chapter 10
Dunne, S, Wise MR,Johnson LM, Anderson G, Ferris LE, Yeritsan N, Croxford R, Fu L, Degani N, Bierman AS,In Bierman AS, Editor Project for an Ontario Women’s Health Evidence based report, Volume 2, Toronto 2011
Abortion 10D – POWER Report
“..For women who have access to induced abortions, studies suggest that demographic factors, such as the woman’s age, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity are important determinants of whether she will have the procedure.
In Canada and the U.S., induced abortion rates are highest among women aged 20-24. U.S. data suggest that black women (compared to white women, including Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women) have the highest abortion rates. In 2008, women with family incomes below the poverty line accounted for 42% of those obtaining abortions in a nationally representative U.S. Survey of abortion patients….”
Immigrants in Ontario: Linking Spatial Settlement Patterns and Labour Force Characteristics Donia DiBiase, Harald Bauder, Department of Geography, University of Guelph 2004 (page 7)
“Within the Greater Toronto Area recent immigration populations concentrated in cities of Toronto, Markham, Richmond Hill, Brampton and Mississauga. In fact over 75% of the immigrants who came to Ontario between 1996 and 2001 settled in these cities….”
In The POWER report previously mentioned we are provide with abortion rates per 100 live births for the 14 Local Health Intergrated networks across Ontario. The highest rates in our province are in the following Local Health Integrated Networks;
Central West LHIN; ““Enriched by its cultural diversity, the Central West LHIN is home to the highest proportion of vicible minorities in Ontario who represent about 50% of its population..”
Toronto Central LHIN
“..Immigrants make up 41% of the population in the Toronto Central LHIN..”
52 abortions for every 100 live births
Central LHIN; “…The residents of Central LHIN are also diverse, with the highest proportion of immigrants in the province and twice the provincial average of visible minorities..”
50 abortions for every 100 live births
Mississauga Halton LHIN “The MH LHIN is one of the most diverse LHINs, with 36% of the population being a visible minority…”
46 abortions for every 100 live births
Central East LHIN “..Toronto region also has the highest proportion of visible minorities in the LHIN…”
46 abortions for every 100 live births
And now we will leave you to do the math!