Health survey is like 'blood test' for community

Delta benefits from strong community resiliency and good access to primary care, according to the largest community health survey ever conducted in B.C. Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health last week released the findings of the My Health My Community Survey, which gathered data from more than 33,000 Lower Mainland adults. It's aimed at helping local governments, community groups and health agencies with planning decisions and policy development.

"The survey is like a blood-test for our communities," said Dr. Victoria Lee, chief medical health officer for Fraser Health. "The results provide us with valuable information that our medical health officers can use to 'diagnose' the health of our region. We can then focus our work with municipalities and local stakeholders to create a roadmap of good health for the future."

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Some of the highlights for Delta include over two-thirds of respondents reporting strong community belonging, while over 90 per cent have access to a family doctor, which is above the Metro Vancouver average of 83 per cent.

The survey also found there's room for improvement in Delta when it comes to eating habits and physical activity. As well, over 70 per cent of respondents commute by car compared to Metro Vancouver's 55 per cent.

The report found the number of people in Delta saying both their general health and mental health were excellent was higher than the Metro Vancouver averages for those categories, however, reported cases of high blood pressure, heart disease and arthritis were higher in Delta.

The report found 69 per cent of Deltans feel a strong sense of community belonging, compared to 56 per cent across Metro Vancouver.

The report noted that across Metro Vancouver, recent immigrants were less likely to report a strong sense of community belonging or have the same number of people they could confide in.

In Delta, household incomes under $40,000 stood at 21.6 per cent compared to 31.7 per cent for Metro Vancouver as a whole, while 24 per cent of Delta households earned $120,000 and above. The report noted that households with annual incomes in the higher range were two times more likely to report excellent or very good general health.

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