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Can J Public Health. 2002 Nov-Dec;93 Suppl 2:S15-20.

Embedding child health within a framework of regional health: population health status and sociodemographic indicators.

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Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.



The description of regional variation in children's health requires regional population-based context. But what is the best way to measure the health of a region's population?


The use of two indicators is described--one a health status measure and the other a measure of socioeconomic wellbeing. It is well known that the population's premature mortality rate (PMR), the age/sex-adjusted rate of death before age 75 years, is highly related to overall health status of an area's residents. Socioeconomic characteristics of an area's residents are also indicative (and likely causative) of health status differences.


The Socioeconomic Factor Index (SEFI) was developed at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, using a Principal Components Analysis of census data. PMR and SEFI are highly correlated (Spearman's correlation coefficient r = 0.85, p < 0.0001).


PMR can be used as a surrogate measure for both the health status and socioeconomic well-being of regional populations in Manitoba.

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