Circumpolar Health Observatory [CircHOB] (CircHOB)

Updated 2016-09-14

CircHOB is an international collaborative health information system, involved in systematic, standardized, and consistent data collection and analysis. It is population-based, and produces data for all northern regions in all circumpolar countries CircHOB’s purpose is to monitor trends and patterns in health status, health determinants, and health care, provides quantitative evidence for planning and evaluation of health programs and services. It is on-going and sustainable with periodic updates Main gaps: Data on health-related behaviours, attitudes, and practices currently available from health surveys done in various circumpolar countries and regions are not directly comparable, due to differences in the construction of variables, sampling techniques, and contextual meanings of underlying concepts. Substantial international comparative research is needed before such data can be presented. Network type: CircHOB is a flagship project of the Arctic Human Health Expert Group of the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council, formed in 2009. CircHOB is a program within the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research Data Center [] CircHOB extracts relevant data from existing data sources managed by different groups and agencies in different countries, including: • National population registries, censuses and intercensal estimates • Vital statistics • Mortality/morbidity/health care utilization databases • National/regional health surveys • Statistical reports CircHOB does NOT involve access to individual-level health records nor do any such records cross national borders. It involves the preparation of tables of aggregate data only. Most data are available from websites of national statistical agencies, health ministries, etc. Many but not all sites are available in English and language proficiency in all circumpolar languages [eg. Russian, Finnish, Icelandic] is essential. Some data require special tabulations produced by host agencies

Time frame

Project time span
2000 -
Data collection
2000 -
Data processing
2000 -
Data reporting
2000 -

Contact information

Contact person
Kue Young

(1) Kue Young, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; International Network for Circumpolar Health Research [] (2) Susan Chatwood, Institute


Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Human media


Regions studied
Arctic, Circumpolar

Data availability

Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Procedures and methodology used for, e.g., sampling and sample storage, sample pretreatment, extraction and analysis, including which laboratories are involved, references to methods employed, etc.

Thematic Areas/Main Variables • Population: Size, age-sex distribution, density, urban areas, indigenous peoples • Fertility: crud birth rate, total fertility rate, distribution of livebirths by mothers’ age • Mortality: crude death rate, age-sex-specific mortality rates, life expectancy at birth, infant mortality rate, age-standardized mortality rates by cause • Reproductive Outcomes: perinatal mortality rate, distribution of livebirths by birthweight and gestational age • Disease Incidence: incidence of cancer by site, incidence of tuberculosis, hepatitis A and B, sexually transmitted diseases (HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis) • Socioeconomic Conditions: Gross Domestic Product, education, employment, income • Health-Related Behaviours: smoking, physical activity, diet • Health Care Resources: human resources, health expenditures, facilities • Health Services Utilization: hospitalization and primary care services

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Is this project reporting to other organizations/programmes?

[Not specified] Networks:

Indigenous AND traditional knowledge used in this project

[Not specified]

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