Community Health Service Area
Health Profile (Version 2.0)

4311 Comox

Health Status: Chronic Diseases

One of the biggest challenges to achieving healthy communities is the prevention and management of chronic conditions, especially with an aging British Columbian population. Chronic diseases are diseases that are persistent and generally slow in progression, such as diabetes, chronic respiratory illnesses, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Chronic conditions can result from a combination of genetics, lifestyle practices, and environmental risks. The section below provides a glimpse into the rates of major chronic diseases in the CHSA. This section also includes comparisons to the health status of other CHSAs within the same Local Health Area.


Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada. About half of all cancers may be prevented through factors such as healthy eating, physical activity, avoiding harmful use of substances such as tobacco, and reduced sun exposure.[53]

All Cancers (all ages)
Crude Incidence (per 100,000 population per year): 781.8
Female Breast Cancer (all ages)
Crude Incidence (per 100,000 population per year): 233.5


All Cancer Deaths (all ages)
Crude Mortality (per 100,000 population per year): 329.6
Colorectal Cancer (all ages)
Crude Incidence (per 100,000 population per year): 73.3


Data source: BC Cancer Registry, 2016-2020

Crude Incidence and Mortality Rates of Cancer across Neighbouring CHSAs

The following section shows the crude incidence and mortality rates of cancers in all CHSAs within their Local Health Area. If any Local Health Area has only one CHSA, there will be only one bar shown in the chart for that CHSA.

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Heart and Circulatory Illness

Cardiovascular diseases are conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. Examples of cardiovascular disease include heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, and ischemic heart disease. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, increases the risk of a number of chronic conditions including diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases.

Hospitalized Acute Myocardial Infarction (age 20+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 3.1
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 28.5
Heart Failure (age 1+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 4.1
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 33.9


Hospitalized Stroke (age 20+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 2.0
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 12.5
Hypertension (age 20+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 17.0
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 324.4


Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) (age 20+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 12.2
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 117.2


Data source: B.C. Chronic Disease Registry, 2020-21

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Chronic Respiratory Illness

Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are two common chronic respiratory diseases with significant impacts on health and wellbeing. Asthma often occurs in those with a genetic predisposition to the illness, though not always. This condition can be caused by allergens in the environment, tobacco smoke, exposures in the workplace, or air pollution. COPD is often caused by smoking but can also be caused or worsened by workplace exposures.

Asthma (age 1+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 5.5
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 124.3
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) (age 35+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 4.8
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 61.6

Data source: B.C. Chronic Disease Registry, 2020-21

Mental Illness

Mental illness refers to psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety and mood disorders, schizophrenia and delusional disorders, dementia, and Alzheimer Disease.

Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementia (age 40+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 7.6
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 31.6
Depression (age 1+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 17.2
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 308.0


Mood & Anxiety Disorders (age 1+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 28.4
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 376.1
Schizophrenia (age 10+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 0.3
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 6.0


Data source: B.C. Chronic Disease Registry, 2020-21

Neurological Conditions

Neurological disorders affect the central and peripheral nervous systems. These disorders include diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinsonism, and multiple sclerosis.

Epilepsy (age 1+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 0.9
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 10.0
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) (age 20+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): N/A
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 4.5


Parkinson's/Parkinsonism (age 40+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 0.7
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 5.3


Data source: B.C. Chronic Disease Registry, 2020-21

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Bone Diseases

Bone diseases affect mobility and dexterity and are one of the leading causes of physical disabilities.[54] These conditions can affect individuals of all ages and include osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.

Gout/Crystal Arthropathies (age 20+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 3.2
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 42.8
Osteoarthritis (age 1+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 10.5
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 147.9


Osteoporosis (age 50+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 4.6
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 89.5
Rheumatoid Arthritis (age 1+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 0.5
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 17.3


Data source: B.C. Chronic Disease Registry, 2020-21

Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease

Diabetes is one of the most common metabolic disorders. Diabetes usually occurs in adults, although rates among children are rising. Long term complications of diabetes include other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease.[55] In addition to diabetes, other risk factors for chronic kidney disease include high blood pressure, heart disease, and other kidney diseases.

Diabetes Mellitus (age 1+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 6.0
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 91.7
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) (age 1+)
Crude Incidence (per 1000): 6.9
Crude Prevalence (per 1000): 51.7


Data source: B.C. Chronic Disease Registry, 2020-21

Age-Standardized Incidence and Prevalence Rates of Chronic Diseases across Neighbouring CHSAs

The following section shows the age-standardized prevalence and incidence rates for chronic diseases in all CHSAs within their Local Health Area. Some Local Health Areas have one CHSA and some have more than one. If a data bar is absent in the chart, the rate was calculated based on a small number of people. To protect the privacy and confidentiality of the individuals, such rates are not released publicly as per the BCCDC policy. Specific age-standardized incidence and prevalence rates for chronic disease are presented in Comparison to provincial and regional health authority averages – Chronic disease.

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Includes Type 1, Type 2, other specified and unspecified diabetes mellitus; excludes suspected gestational diabetes.
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