By Camille Bains THE CANADIAN PRESS Racism and the lack of primary care providers mean off-reserve First Nations, Metis and Inuit women and girls have poorer health overall compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts, says a study by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Compared with non-Indigenous females, those in the three distinct groups reported a higher prevalence of diagnosed chronic diseases and worse mental health, including mood or anxiety disorders, says the study, which noted Canada’s colonial history of residential schools, forced or coerced sterilization and destruction of traditional lands. Researchers used data for all females aged 15 to 55 from the annual Canadian Community Health Survey between 2015 and 2020. That amounted to 6,000 people from the three distinct groups and 74,760 non-Indigenous females, all in their reproductive years.
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