Northern Health Statistics Improving

Thursday, February 10, 2005 at 15:18



Delegates at the ongoing Northern Health Conference in La Ronge will hear about some northern success stories today.


Yesterday, the North’s medical officer of health told those in attendance that there has been progress made in a number of areas in the last few years.


Dr. James Irvine says there has been a slight reduction in smoking rates in the North over the last six or seven years, including a decrease in underage smokers.


Irvine also says the healthy eating campaign seems to be getting through to parents. In 2000, 36 per cent of northern children ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Three years later, it was up to 48.5 per cent.


Irvine also says there has been a greater life expectancy improvement in the North than in the rest of the province. Between 1997 and 2001, Irvine reports that the average life expectancy of northern men increased 3-and-a-half years. Amongst northern women, it went up 2-and-a-half years, on average.


Also, suicide deaths in the North went down signficantly during that time period, and the North’s infant mortality rate also decreased.


Irvine says part of the reason infant deaths are down is because there has been a “phenomenal” reduction in infant deaths from infectious diseases.