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Trends in the Health Status of Older Manitobans, 1985 to 1999

  • Verena H. Menec (a1), Lisa Lix (a1) and Leonard MacWilliam (a1)


Trends in the health status of the entire senior population aged 65 years or older in Manitoba were examined over a 14-year period (1985–1999) using administrative data (about 150,000 individuals). Significant health gains were apparent for a number of important indicators, including acute myocardial infarction, stroke, cancer, and hip fractures, although some of these gains were restricted to urban areas. Improvements in these health indicators are significant, as they can have major implications for individuals' need for health services and ability to live independently. In contrast, chronic diseases were on the rise, with the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and dementia increasing substantially over the 14-year period. These trends suggest a need for a policy emphasis on prevention, such as reducing the prevalence of obesity, which is one risk factor for diabetes. Moreover, having sufficient care options in place for the growing number of individuals with dementia is an issue that will have to be addressed.

Les tendances relatives à l'état de santé de toute la population du Manitoba âgée de 65 ans ou plus ont été étudiées sur une période de 14 ans, au moyen de données administratives (environ 150 000 personnes). Des gains considérables en santé ont été observés pour un certain nombre d'indicateurs, notamment du point de vue des infarctus aigus du myocarde, des accidents cérébraux vasculaires, des cancers et des fractures de la hanche. Cependant, certains de ces gains n'ont été observés que dans les zones urbaines. Les améliorations relatives à ces indicateurs de la santé sont importantes, puisqu'elles peuvent avoir des conséquences majeures sur les besoins des personnes en matiàre de soins de santé et sur leur aptitude à vivre de façon autonome. Par contre, la prévalence de maladies chroniques a augmenté ; le diabàte, l'hypertension et la démence ayant augmenté de façon substantielle au cours de la période de 14 ans. Ces tendances laissent supposer qu'il faut mettre l'accent sur les politiques de prévention, afin notamment de réduire la prévalence de l'obésité, qui constitue l'un des facteurs de risque du diabàte. Par ailleurs, il faudra se pencher sur la question de savoir si l'on dispose de suffisamment d'options en matiàre de soins pour le nombre croissant de personnes atteintes de démence.


Corresponding author

Requests for offprints should be sent to: / Les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être addressées à : Verena H. Menec, Ph.D., Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, 750 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3E ON3. (


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Trends in the Health Status of Older Manitobans, 1985 to 1999

  • Verena H. Menec (a1), Lisa Lix (a1) and Leonard MacWilliam (a1)


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