Perinatal Health Indicators (PHI)

The Perinatal Health Indicators produced by the Public Health Agency of Canada's Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System present information on maternal, fetal and infant health in Canada based on data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s Discharge Abstract Database (CIHI-DAD), the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), and Vital Statistics (birth, stillbirth and death databases). The PHI are grouped into four key health domains: Health Behaviours and Practices, Health Services, Maternal Outcomes, and Infant Outcomes.

For a quick overview of the indicators and their measures including national estimates, click on any of the four domains listed below. For each indicator, the “Description” link will provide details concerning the measure and available data breakdowns.

The "PHI Data Tool" button situated below brings you to a selection tool that provides access to all available data breakdowns and trends for every indicator.

Use the PHI Data Tool
PHI's Quick Stats is also available in a printer-friendly format (PDF document). For an accessible equivalent, please use the table below.

PHI's Quick Stats are also available in a printer-friendly format: (.pdf document)

For more information about each indicator, click on the domains below:

Health Behaviours and Practices
Indicator Group Indicator Measure(s) Latest Data Source (Year) Description
Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy Proportion of women who reported smoking during pregnancy 8.2% CCHS (2017)Table Footnote a DescriptionProportion of women who reported smoking during pregnancy
Maternal Exposure to Second-hand Smoke during Pregnancy Proportion of women who reported exposure to second-hand smoke during pregnancy 7.1% CCHS (2017)Table Footnote a DescriptionProportion of women who reported exposure to second-hand smoke during pregnancy
Maternal Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy Proportion of women who reported alcohol consumption during pregnancy 4.2% CCHS (2017)Table Footnote a DescriptionProportion of women who reported alcohol consumption during pregnancy
Breastfeeding Proportion of women who reported exclusive breastfeeding of their child for at least the first 6 months of life 32.2% CCHS (2017)Table Footnote a DescriptionProportion of women who reported exclusive breastfeeding of their child for at least the first 6 months of life
Live Births to Younger Mothers Age-specific live birth rates to mothers 10-19 years old (excluding Quebec)Table Footnote b 4.3 live births per 1,000 females CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionAge-specific live birth rates to mothers 10-19 years old (excluding Quebec)
Proportion of live births to mothers 10-19 years old (excluding Quebec) 2.3% CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionProportion of live births to mothers 10-19 years old (excluding Quebec)
Live Births to Older Mothers Age-specific live birth rates to mothers 35-49 years old (excluding Quebec)Table Footnote b 23.1 live births per 1,000 females CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionAge-specific live birth rates to mothers 35-49 years old (excluding Quebec)
Proportion of live births to mothers 35-49 years old (excluding Quebec) 22.9% CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionProportion of live births to mothers 35-49 years old (excluding Quebec)
Health Services
Indicator Group Indicator Measure(s) Latest Data Source (Year) Description
Cesarean Delivery Proportion of deliveries by cesarean section (excluding Quebec) 29.8% CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionProportion of deliveries by cesarean section (excluding Quebec)
Maternal Health Outcomes
Indicator Group Indicator Measure(s) Latest Data Source (Year) Description
Severe Maternal Morbidity Rate of severe maternal morbidity (excluding Quebec)Table Footnote c 15.8 per 1,000 hospital deliveries CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionRate of severe maternal morbidity (excluding Quebec)
Maternal Weight Gain during Pregnancy Proportion of women who reported gestational weight gain above recommended Health Canada guidelines 43.7% CCHS (2017)Table Footnote a DescriptionProportion of women who reported gestational weight gain above recommended Health Canada guidelines
Diabetes during Pregnancy Rate of pregnant women with diagnosed diabetes (pre-existing or gestational diabetes) 99.1 per 1,000 total birthsTable Footnote d CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionRate of pregnant women with diagnosed diabetes (pre-existing or gestational diabetes)
Hypertension during Pregnancy Rate of pregnant women with diagnosed hypertension (pre-existing or gestational hypertension) 69.6 per 1,000 total birthsTable Footnote d CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionRate of pregnant women with diagnosed hypertension (pre-existing or gestational hypertension)
Infant Health Outcomes
Indicator Group Indicator Measure(s) Latest Data Source (Year) Description
Preterm Births Proportion of preterm births <37 weeks (excluding Quebec)Table Footnote e 8.2% CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionProportion of preterm births <37 weeks (excluding Quebec)
Small-for-Gestational-Age Proportion of Small-for-Gestational-Age (excluding Quebec)Table Footnote f 9.2% CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionProportion of Small-for-Gestational-Age (excluding Quebec)
Large-for-Gestational-Age Proportion of Large-for-Gestational-Age (excluding Quebec)Table Footnote f 9.9% CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionProportion of Large-for-Gestational-Age (excluding Quebec)
Fetal Mortality Fetal mortality rate among births ≥500 g birth weight or ≥20 weeks gestation at delivery (excluding Quebec)Table Footnote g 8.4 per 1,000 total births CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionFetal mortality rate among births ≥500 g birth weight or ≥20 weeks gestation at delivery (excluding Quebec)
Infant Mortality Crude infant mortality rate (excluding Ontario)Table Footnote h 4.6 per 1,000 live births Vital Statistics (2015) DescriptionCrude infant mortality rate (excluding Ontario)
Crude neonatal mortality rate (excluding Ontario)Table Footnote h 3.5 per 1,000 live births Vital Statistics (2015) DescriptionCrude neonatal mortality rate (excluding Ontario)
Crude postneonatal mortality rate (excluding Ontario)Table Footnote h 1.1 per 1,000 live births Vital Statistics (2015) DescriptionCrude postneonatal mortality rate (excluding Ontario)
Multiple Births Proportion of multiple births (excluding Quebec) 3.2% CIHI-DAD (2017) DescriptionProportion of multiple births (excluding Quebec)

Notes

  • Abbreviations: Abbreviations: CCHS, Canadian Community Health Survey; CIHI-DAD, Canadian Institute of Health Information - Discharge Abstract Database; HELLP, Hemolysis-Elevated Liver enzymes-Low Platelet count; ICE, International Collaborative Effort; ICU, Intensive Care Unit; LGA, Large-for-Gestational-Age; PHI, Perinatal Health Indicators; RBC, Red Blood Cells; SGA, Small-for-Gestational-Age; VS, Vital Statistics.
  • Note: Unless otherwise stated, the data includes women from age 15-54 (CIHI) or age 15-55 (CCHS) who gave birth during a specified time period.
  • a Data from CCHS is self-reported.
  • b Age-specific, birth rates for mothers: The denominators for the age-specific rate of live births were population estimates for the corresponding age category for the specific calendar year.
  • c Severe Maternal Morbidities: The 14 categorized types include: Severe preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome; Postpartum hemorrhage with RBC transfusion or procedures to the uterus or hysterectomy; Maternal ICU admission; Hysterectomy; Complications of obstetric surgery and procedures; Repair of bladder, urethra or intestine; Puerperal sepsis; Assisted Ventilation through endotracheal tube; Cardiac Conditions Curettage with RBC transfusion; Acute Renal Failure; Eclampsia; Obstetric Shock; Placenta previa with hemorrhage with RBC transfusion.
  • d Total births include live births and stillbirths.
  • e Preterm Birth Rate: This indicator is defined as the number of live births with a gestational age at birth of less than 37 completed weeks (<259 days), expressed as a proportion of all live births. Limitation of data on preterm birth is error in reporting of gestational age, particularly when it is based on menstrual dates. These errors have diminished in recent decades as ultrasound confirmation of gestational age is widely used across Canada; however, dating ultrasounds performed in the first trimester are more accurate than in the second trimester.
  • f SGA and LGA: The small-for-gestational-age (SGA) and large-for-gestational-age (LGA) birth rates are defined as the number of live births for which birth weight is below the 10th percentile, or above the 90th percentile, respectively, for sex-specific birth weight for gestational age, expressed as a proportion of all singleton live births.
  • g Fetal Mortality Rate: This indicator is defined as the number of stillbirths, per 1000 total births (live births and stillbirths), and is recorded through CIHI to include all registered stillbirths (no evidence of life upon birth). Those requiring registration (in all provinces or territories, excluding Quebec) include stillbirths following pregnancy termination, with a birth weight ≥500 g or a gestational age at delivery ≥20 weeks.
  • h Crude infant mortality rates are calculated from all births weighing at least 500g, and includes neonatal and postneonatal deaths. Infant Mortality Rate: This indicator is defined as the number of deaths of live born babies in the first year after birth per 1,000 live births. Infant deaths can be subdivided into neonatal deaths (0–27 days) and postneonatal deaths (28–364 days).
  • Suggested Citation: Centre for Surveillance and Applied Research, Public Health Agency of Canada. Perinatal Health Indicators Data Tool, 2020 Edition. Public Health Infobase. Ottawa (ON): Public Health Agency of Canada, 2020.
  • Hashtag: #PHI
  • For questions or comments, please contact us at: phac.infobase.aspc@canada.ca
Date modifier:
2020-10-15