Friday, February 24, 2017

Inquiry on Sexual Orientation and CCHS

I have two queries that I would like assistance with.

1. I have a student wanting to know the number of self-identified gay or lesbian people in Canada.

From what I can see, the Census doesn't ask the question. There is information about same sex couples, but nothing about individuals.

2. We have a patron who is looking for Canadian health stats on the following population:

People who:
  1. have had a lower limb amputation, also called lower extremity amputation and
  2. are 65 years of age and older and
  3. live in Edmonton, if not then the region or the province.
She's interested in finding information on prevalence or rate within this population for:
  • co-morbidity
  • mortality
  • diabetics
  • smokers
I am thinking that I may be able to find some information about this in CIHI.

Answer (1) 
This is a link Ryerson University has on its LGBTQ+ Studies Research Guide:
Answer (2) 
I received one response already form CCHS group. There is a variable that pertains to sexual orientation, but as per subject matter, it only exists on the Masterfile:

“We do ask the following question on CCHS but the answers are not available on the PUMF, only in the master file.


Do you consider yourself to be...?
1: heterosexual (sexual relations with people of the opposite sex)
2: homosexual, that is lesbian or gay (sexual relations with people of your own sex)
3: bisexual (sexual relations with people of both sexes)
8: RF
9: DK”
Answer (3) 
I received word from CIHI’s subject matter group. They had the following to say:

1. Regarding self-identified gay or lesbian people in Canada – we don’t collect this data.
2. Regarding the specific population specified in your earlier email:

We most likely have hospitalization data for this population. For instance if a patient went to the ED with a traumatic limb amputation, or had to be admitted to an acute inpatient setting for something related to the amputation (ex/ infection).

Regarding co-morbidity, mortality, diabetic, smoker rates and prevalence for the above population:

In terms of data, we are restricted to what ICD-10-CA diagnosis codes are provided on the hospitalization abstracts.

With regards to smokers, co-morbidities (inc. diabetes), I don’t think its mandatory to code all of these on the hospitalization – unless it is immediately relevant to the visit. For instance, a comorbid diagnosis of diabetes would only show up if the patient was treated for this co-morbidity during the visit. Similarly, a smoking diagnosis code would only show up if the hospitalization would also contain another diagnosis directly linked to it (ex/ could occur with COPD).

Regarding mortality – we do collect the visit/discharge disposition, and it includes things like ‘Died’ ‘DOA’ etc.

Note that although we can provide this kind of data through a custom data request, we don’t actually do rates or prevalence calculations on our end.