Stats Canada released their 2012 health profile on June 19, and the numbers from last year show the northwest falls well behind the province when it comes to a number of health indicators.
In terms of perceived health, only 53.1 per cent of people in the northwest say they perceive to have very good or excellent health. That number is below the 59.6 per cent in the province and is the lowest in northern BC compared to the 53.3 per cent in the interior and the 61.1 per cent in the northeast. In terms of mental health, 63.4 per cent of people said they perceive it to be good or excellent, again well below the 71 per cent in the province and the lowest in Northern Health when compared to 67.1 per cent in the northern interior and 73.2 per cent in the northeast.
Despite those numbers, people in the northwest have a lower per cent who perceive life stress at 20.2 per cent compared to 21.4 per cent in BC, 22.3 per cent in the northern interior and 22.2 per cent in the northeast.
When it comes to weight concerns, 62.1 per cent of people int the Northwest Health Services Delivery Area were reported as being overweight or obese, while across the province the number was 44.7 per cent. The number for the region is also the highest in Northern Health, with 54.9 per cent reporting being obese or overweight in the northern interior and 58.2 per cent reporting the same in the northeast.
People in the northwest also have a higher percentage of high blood pressure than others in BC and northern BC, with 16.7 per cent reporting high blood pressure compared to 14.9 per cent across the province, 15.9 per cent in the interior and 12.8 per cent in the northeast.
In the northwest 20.9 per cent of people say they smoke daily or occasionally, well above the 16.7 per cent in the province. However, both the interior and the northeast have higher rates of smoking at 23.4 per cent and 27.7 per cent respectively. When it comes to heavy drinking, 19.5 per cent are reportedly heavy drinkers compared to 19.8 per cent in the interior, 18 per cent in the northeast and 15.8 per cent in the province.