Métis Nation of Ontario calls for immediate attention to higher rates of chronic disease in Métis population

OTTAWA, March 20, 2012 – The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) has released the findings of a landmark research initiative studying chronic diseases amongst its citizens. This research addresses a significant gap in information about chronic disease in the Métis population.

“These findings are of great concern to the MNO” stated President Gary Lipinski, “and with this new evidence, we are looking for greater support for Métis focused health promotion and prevention strategies”.

Dr. David Henry, President and CEO of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) highlighted the “scarcity of published information on chronic disease burdens and healthcare trends among the Métis” and commented that “the results of the research are a concern from a public health perspective”.

The research was undertaken by the MNO in partnership with ICES and carried out using the MNO Citizenship Registry that includes the records of over 14,000 Métis citizens in Ontario. ICES is an independent, non-profit corporation whose core business is to conduct research that contributes to the effectiveness, quality and equity of heath care in Ontario.


CDSP Launch
Speakers at the Launch of the Chronic Disease Findings (left to right):
MNO President Gary Lipinski, Karen Robert, Senior Epidemiologists with
the Public Health Agency of Canada; Saba Kahn, Epidemiologist with ICES;
Dr. Baiju Shah,University of Toronto; MNO Chair France Picotte; Dr. Martin
Cooke, University of Waterloo; Dr. Eric Crighton, University of Ottawa; and
Dr. David Urbach, University of Toronto.

Key findings of the research include:

  • Prevalence of diabetes among Métis citizens in Ontario was 26% higher than in the general Ontario population;
  • Métis with diabetes were 86% more likely to be hospitalized due to a heart attack or pre-heart attack than people with diabetes in the general population;
  • Metis were 18% less likely to receive care from a diabetes specialist;
  • Less than half of Métis with diabetes are receiving the recommended eye care;
  • Métis seniors were more likely than other seniors to use insulin and less likely to try to control their diabetes through diet alone;
  • Rates of heart attack and pre-heart attack and congestive heart failure were 1.8 and 1.3 times higher among Métis compared to the general Ontario population;
  • The readmission rate for congestive heart failure was over two times higher among the Métis than the general Ontario population;
  • The prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was over 1.6 times higher among the Métis; and
  • Asthma rates were 1.2 times higher in the Métis, with the greatest differences seen in young people aged 18 to 24 years

“The Public Health Agency of Canada supports the collection of reliable data on chronic disease trends and their risk factors”, said Chief Public Health Officer David Butler-Jones. “We are pleased to have played a key role in funding this important new research.”

The research will inform ongoing efforts to reduce the health disparities between Métis and other Ontarians.