Your postal code may influence your health

Dec 18, 2018, 11:04 AM by Joel Tiller
Research led by HEI's Russell de Souza and Sonia Anand shows where you live in Canada may play a role in your risk of major diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

Where you live in Canada may play a role in your risk of major diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

Researchers at McMaster University have identified trends linking health and lifestyle factors like access to public transit, the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in grocery stores, the prices of popular foods, the availability and prices of cigarettes and alcohol, and the promotion, or lack thereof, of healthy foods in restaurants.

The study findings, based on detailed data collected across Canada's 10 provinces, were published today in the journal Cities and Health. An interactive online map for public use showing the data by postal code is available here.

"We found there are significant differences in environmental factors that may contribute to health, and that these differed between urban and rural communities, as well as when we compared eastern with western, and northern with southern communities," said Russell de Souza, first author of the study and assistant professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster. 

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