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Socio-economic disparities contribute to Canadian hospitalizations for self-injury

May 30, 2013

A new report finds that fewer people in Canada would be hospitalized for self-injury if socio-economic disparities were reduced. If all neighbourhoods in Canada had the same hospitalization rates for self-injury as the most affluent, the national rate would be 27 per cent lower. These findings are significant given that self-injury-related hospitalizations may indicate gaps in services and supports at the community-level.

This information comes from this year’s annual Health Indicators report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), which tracks more than 40 different health and health system performance measures across Canada. The latest report for 2011/2012 examines the role of socio-economic status in health and health system performance.

In 2011/2012, the hospitalization rates for self-injury, as a result of suicidal and/or self-harming behaviour, were highest in Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick (86 and 85 per 100,000 people, respectively). During that fiscal year, the lowest rates were for Ontario, Alberta and Quebec (63, 59 and 59 per 100,000 people respectively).

For more information, see the Canadian Institute for Health Information media release of May 23, 2013, “Fewer people could be hospitalized for injuries resulting from suicidal and self-harming behaviour if social disparities reduced”, available on the CIHI website.

CIHI’s Health Indicators 2013 report is available for download on their website.

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