Cancer

A Culturally-Relevant Perspective on This Issue

Introduction

Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by uncontrolled cell division and the ability of these cells to invade other tissues, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue (invasion) or by migration of cells to distant sites (metastasis) [1]. Tobacco use, dietary factors, infectious agents, reproductive and sexual factors, and occupation are just a few of the risk factors for various types of cancer. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, cancer is not listed as one of the key health issues for Aboriginals, such as Diabetes or HIV/AIDS. As a result, there is minimal data on cancer in Aboriginal communities and even more limited information on cancer rates among Aboriginal women.

First Nations

Although the overall cancer rate is lower among the First Nations population, cervical cancer in women is prevalent [2]. Pap testing occurs both less frequently and more irregularly when it does occur among First Nations women in BC [3]. For example, cancer survival rates are low in Saskatchewan for the First Nations population and this is thought to be related to diagnosis occurring at later stages of cancer [2]. According to the Health Council of Canada, breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among First Nations women in 1999 [4].

Métis

Data on cancer prevalence in the Métis population is very scarce. Data from the 2006 Métis Nation British Columbia Provincial Survey reported that approximately 18% of Métis individuals report that at least one person in their household had cancer (compared to arthritis 54%) [3]. In the North West Territories, trachea, bronchus, and lung cancer account for 27% of all cancer-related deaths among Métis women [4].

Inuit

Approximately 2.8% of Inuit women suffer from some type of cancer compared to 1.5% of Inuit men. Historically, the Inuit population has experienced higher rates of cancers that are rare in the general population (nasopharyngeal, salivary gland, esophageal) possibly related to the use of smokeless tobacco products. However, cancers that are more common in the general population, such as lung, colon, cervix, and breast cancers are lower in the Inuit population [2]. The traditional Inuit diet has largely been replaced by store-bought food, which is high saturated fat and low in both Vitamin A and fibre content and may contribute to overall cancer incidence. In Nunavut, fewer women die from breast cancer (11.9/100,000) compared to the rest of Canadian women (25.2/100,000), but the lung cancer mortality rate for women was 5.3 times higher compared to the Canadian population [4]. 

Cardiovascular Disease

A Culturally-Relevant Perspective on This Issue

Introduction

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to conditions that affect the heart or blood vessels, including: arteriosclerosis, coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, heart failure, hypertension (high blood pressure), and cerebrovascular heart disease (stroke), to name a few [1]. CVD is 1.5 times higher among First Nations and Inuit Populations than in the general Canadian population [2]. Data on CVD in Aboriginal peoples, in particular the Métis population, are lacking.  Given the evidence that suggests high risk factors and prevalence of CVD among Aboriginal people, it is important to improve collection of CVD data, including CVD statistics among Aboriginal women.

First Nations

The CVD rate in First Nations adults is high (8%), and is more prevalent compared to the general Canadian adult population (6%).  The prevalence is particularly high among First Nations adults between 50-59 years of age (12%) [3].  The 2002/03 First Nations Regional Longitudinal Survey reported a higher CVD rate in First Nations women (8%), compared to men 7%, though this difference is not statistically significant. First Nations people have increased exposure to risk factors for CVD, such as cigarette smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity [4,5]. These risk factors often cluster in First Nations people, further increasing their risk of developing CVD [5,6].

Métis

Data on CVD in the Métis population is limited. However, the high rate of diabetes, a risk factor for CVD, among Métis women and men [7], suggests the rate of CVD may also be high. Approximately 12% of the Métis population from British Columbia reported high blood pressure in the Aboriginal People’s Survey.

Inuit

In the past, Inuit people have demonstrated low rates of CVD, which is likely due to the protective effects of their traditional lifestyle and diet. Recent shifts away from traditional foods and lifestyle have increased the risk factors for CVD among Inuit people, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. As such, the rate of CVD among Inuit people is also on the rise [8, 9]. Improved data collection on CVD among Inuit people is needed to assess potential changes in CVD among the population. 

What an Insurance Broker Can Do For You

An insurance broker is an expert in insurance as well as risk management. They act on behalf of the client by providing advice according to the client’s interests. When you consult personal insurance broker Ontario offers, he will help you identify your business or personal risks and thus advice you on the appropriate cover to take. Some brokers have specialized in a specific industry or insurance while others deal with various types.

Even though many clients do not like middle men, insurance brokers come in handy. It is a common misconception that purchasing something through a middle man is more costly than through the original buyer. However, this is not the case in the insurance industry. Here are some of the advantages of using an insurance broker.

Cost

When you purchase an insurance policy through a personal insurance broker Ontario, you are likely to get better pricing than through the insurance company. It is because insurance companies give discounted prices to brokers. Why is it so? Easy: the risk is lower for the insurer when policies are sold through brokers. Brokers are trained to select the right policy for their clients. They avoid under insuring. Doing this reduces unnecessary claims while at the same time maintaining the appropriate premium income.

Time

The time used to get quotation from a broker and an insurer has no much difference. However, with a broker, you will experience direct services since the brokers have expert knowledge. On the other hand, the insurer handles several clients thus there is no direct contact with the clients. It is therefore more likely that with the broker, you will spend less time generally.

Ease

Brokers tend to be more pro-active upon receiving the initial quote request. They are likely to do follow ups more often by answering queries as soon as they can. Direct services are not that easy especially when changes are required later during the policy. Therefore, it is easier to purchase the policy through a broker.

Security of personal information

The matter in question here depends on the mode of communication. If it is through the internet, most insurers have better security services than brokers. It could be attributed to the fact that most companies have high-tech security systems. However, when it comes to phone communication, personal insurance brokers Ontario are far better equipped to handle certain insurance queries and are accustomed to human discussion. Therefore, it makes clients feel that they are in safe hands.

Peace of mind

When buying directly, a consumer is tasked with cross checking the contract to ensure that it is okay. However brokers will help in checking the contracts. In fact, most of them are more efficient in checking the policy more than the clients. Thus, a client can have peace of mind knowing that everything is okay.

The common belief that brokers offers little discussion and sets a high price should not be trusted anymore. Personal insurance brokers Ontario will guide you towards buying the best policy, and more so, they will be patient with you. If you are thinking of buying an insurance policy, try using an insurance broker and you won’t regret. 

Depression

A Culturally-Relevant Perspective on This Issue

Introduction

Depression is a mental disorder that presents with the following symptoms: feelings of sadness; loss of interest or pleasure; guilt, low self esteem; irregular sleep patterns; suicidal thoughts and attempts; loss of appetite, and poor concentration [1].

Aboriginal people are more likely than the general population to be affected by depression and are affected by a number of factors that can contribute to depression, including: the effects of residential schools, loss of cultural identity, poverty, high rates of substance abuse, alcoholism, and sexual abuse. [2]. These long term effects of colonization particularly affect Aboriginal women, in the form of inadequate housing and poor access to appropriate health care [3].  Aboriginal people have a  higher rate of depression and are more likely to seek help for this condition compared to the general Canadian population.

First Nations

The 2005 Regional Longitudinal Health Survey found that 30% of First Nations people felt sad or depressed for two or more weeks [4]. The rate of depression in First Nations living off-reserve was 12%, compared to 7% in the general population [5].  It is estimated that the rate of depression on reserve is even higher. Despite high rates of depression, First Nations people may be more likely to seek help than the general population. A study in Alberta found that First Nations were 2.5 times more likely than other residents to visit a doctor for depression [6].

Métis

There are very little data regarding depression among Métis communities. Since the Métis experienced similar long-term effects of colonization, such as residential schools, loss of cultural identity, and poverty, it is likely that the depression rate among Métis is similar to those among other Aboriginal peoples. A recent study among Métis in Northwestern Saskatchewan supports this; depression was identified as an important health issue in the community [7].

Inuit

Statistics Canada data from 2001 report that 3.1% of Inuit people suffered from depression and 6.4% were at high risk of depression, a rate well below the Canadian average [8]. These statistics are contrary to the high rates of suicide among Inuit regions, which are 6-11 times the national average [9]. This raises questions as to whether depression measures used for the population are applicable in the context of the Inuit culture. Other explanations include that depression, particularly in men, may present as alcohol problems, violence, or criminal activity and therefore may not be classified as depression [10,11]. Further research into depression rates among Inuit is needed to understand this discrepancy. 

Diabetes

A Culturally-Relevant Perspective on This Issue

Introduction

Diabetes is a chronic illness characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin needed to break down sugar. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body produces little or no insulin, and Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot use insulin to break down sugar. The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified diabetes as a major health concern for the Aboriginal population. Aboriginal ancestry is a risk factor for the disease [1].  As well, Aboriginal populations experience earlier onset, greater severity at diagnosis, lack of accessible services, and greater complications from diabetes [2].  Aboriginal women are twice as likely than Aboriginal men to develop diabetes. Gestational diabetes can increase the risk for developing diabetes, birth complications, infant morbidity, and mortality [3,4]. Gestational diabetes can also increase the risk of obesity and diabetes in the offspring [5].

There is a lack of data about diabetes in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations and available survey data likely underestimates the true prevalence [6,7].  Further research using administrative and screening data is needed to better understand diabetes epidemiology among Aboriginal peoples, including Aboriginal women.

First Nations

The prevalence of diabetes in First Nations people is 20% and it is most prevalent among middle-aged men and older women. First Nations women make up two-thirds of First Nations people with diabetes [3,8]. Among the First Nations population, women aged 65+ have the highest rate of 40%, followed by 37% for women aged 55-64, both of which are higher than men’s rates of 36% and 30%, respectively. The diabetes prevalence is higher among those living in isolated communities and those that speak or understand a First Nations language [7]. Additionally, First Nations people are more likely to have Type 2 diabetes and are often develop it at a younger age than the general population [9].

Métis

According to the 2006 Aboriginal People’s survey, the rate of diabetes among Métis women and men in Canada is 7%.  Similar to First Nation people, the Métis population are also more likely to have Type 2 diabetes, and experience the disease at a younger age than the general population. Diabetes data in the Métis population, particularly in women, is limited [10].

Inuit

The prevalence of diabetes among Inuit people is 4%, which is comparatively lower than Métis and First Nations, however there is evidence that the rates are rising [11-14]. Currently, there is limited data on diabetes in the Inuit population, though research is ongoing. Due to recent changes in dietary, physical exercise and lifestyle practices, continual data collection about diabetes is needed to detect future increases in diabetes among the Inuit population [15].