Database Credentialed Access
Canadian Heart Health Database
Published: April 19, 2023. Version: 1.0.0
The Canadian Heart Health Data Base (CHHDB) is a compilation of data from ten Provincial Heart Health Surveys conducted between 1986 and 1992. The Provincial Heart Health Surveys were carried out as part of the Canadian Heart Health Initiative and have been a collaborative effort among the provincial departments of health, Health Canada, The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and provincial heart and stroke foundations.
The CHHDB consists of two data sets. The first is the Heart Health Dataset, consisting of a survey of core information from 23,129 entries collected by all Provincial Heart Health Surveys between 1986 and 1992. The core information has data on major biological risk factors (blood pressure and blood lipids) and information on knowledge and awareness of causes and consequences of cardiovascular diseases and associated risk factors.
The second is the Family History Dataset, consisting of information on demographic information and health history collected by four provinces (Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta) from 9,286 respondents between 1989 and 1992.
The Canadian Heart Health Data Base (CHHDB) is an integration of data from ten Provincial Heart Health Surveys conducted between 1986 and 1992. The Provincial Heart Health Surveys were conducted as part of the Canadian Heart Health Initiative and have been a collaborative effort among provincial departments of health, Health Canada and The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. The origin of the collaborative approach to cardiovascular disease prevention (CVD) lies in a report prepared by the Federal Provincial Working Group on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control .
The objective of the surveys was to estimate at the provincial level the prevalence of CVD risk factors, the knowledge and awareness levels of CVD causes, the consequences of CVD, and the associated risk factors and lifestyle behaviours.
All the Provincial Heart Health Surveys were carried out in two stages, using a stratified, multistage probability sample design. The sample size for each provincial survey was large enough to provide approximately 2,000 responses to the survey. To obtain equally reliable estimates of prevalence of risk factors in all age groups, people from ages 18 to 34 and 35 to 64 were relatively over-sampled compared to people from ages 65 to 74.
Survey data was collected in two stages. Stage one of data collection was a questionnaire. Stage two of data collection included physical measures and a fasting blood sample for analysis of cholesterol, triglyceride, and high density lipoprotein cholesterol. For both stages, probability weights included in the data must be used to calculate population prevalence.
The Heart Health Dataset consist of 266 fields, which can be grouped in the following categories:
- Study participant identifier
- Information about how the survey was collected
- Basic demographics (Province, Area, Age, Sex, Education, Income, Employment, Marital Status, Language, Household Size)
- Clinical measurements (Blood Pressure, Height/Weight, Pulse, Cholesterol)
- Survey data on risk factors (e.g. Alcohol, Smoking, Blood Pressure treatment)
- Survey data on knowledge of risk factors (e.g. how blood pressure, cholesterol, exercise, and fat/salt consumption affect heart health)
- Survey data on steps taken to mitigate heart disease
The Family History Dataset consists of 35 fields, which can be grouped in the following categories:
- Study participant identifier and basic demographics (Province, Age, Sex)
- Probability weights
- Heart health risk factors and medical history for participant's father, mother, siblings, and grandparents
For more information on the datasets and in-depth descriptions of each field, User Codebooks are provided in the documentation dashboard. Please check the associated documentation dashboard for links to all user information.
Note that the sample weights (included in both datasets) must be used in statistical analysis of the data—otherwise, the estimates derived cannot be considered representative of the survey population.
Tables of coefficient of variation (CV) have been calculated for certain important variables for different provinces as well as for the whole country. Estimates can be considered to be of acceptable quality if they have a sample size of 30 or more and a low co-efficient of variance in the range of 0-16.5%. Estimates should be flagged if the sample size is less or the co-efficient of variance is higher.
More detailed data use guidelines, along with the CV Tables, survey methodology, and detailed data codebooks, have been included in the supplemental documents with the dataset. Please review these documents for more detailed information and usage tips.
The dataset is publicly available. The University of Toronto Health Sciences REB Chair has independently confirmed that no additional approval is required to reproduce the dataset.
Special thanks are due to the late Dr. Andres Petrasovits who provided the vision, strategy and leadership for bringing the Canadian Heart Health Initiative to fruition and the late Mukund Nargundkar from Statistics Canada who provided technical support to the provinces in the design and analysis of the provincial heart health surveys that provided the data which showed many Canadians were at risk for developing preventable CVD and that paved the way for the Demonstration Phase of the Canadian Heart Health Initiative.
The full list of the investigators of the Canadian Heart Health Initiative and Health Canada can be found in the associated publications [2, 3, 4].
Funding was a joint effort of the National Health and Research Development Program (Inger Abrams and Elizabeth Mellor), the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Provincial Heart and Stroke Foundations, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and the Canadian Coalitions for High Blood Pressure and the Social Surveys Divisions of Statistics Canada. A special acknowledgement is due to Arun Chockalingam, Richard Lauzon, Doug MacQuarrie, Ruth Collins-Nakai and Elinor Wilson.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
- Promoting Health in Canada: Report of the Federal Provincial Working Group on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control, Department of National Health and Welfare, Ottawa, 1987.
- Multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors in Canadian adults. Canadian Heart Health Surveys Research Group. MacDonald S, Joffres MR, Stachenko S, Horlick L, Fodor G. CMAJ. 1992 Jun 1;146(11):2021-9. PMID: 1596851
- Impact of different blood lipid evaluation and treatment guidelines on the proportion of Canadians identified and treated for elevated blood cholesterol. Canadian Heart Health Surveys Research Group. MacLean DR, Petrasovits A, Connelly PW, Little JA, O'Connor B. Can J Cardiol. 1999 Apr;15(4):445-51. PMID: 10322254
- Health Canada, Population and Public Health Branch. Canadian Heart Health Initiative: Process Evaluation of the Demonstration Phase. Ottawa - Ontario: Health Canada, 2002.
Only credentialed users who sign the DUA can access the files.
License (for files):
Health Data Nexus Contributor Review Health Data License 1.0
Data Use Agreement:
T-CAIREM Data Use Agreement
TCPS 2: CORE 2022