The CIHR-funded Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE) collates and generates standardized area-level environmental data on air and noise pollution, land use, green/natural spaces, climate change/extreme weather, and socioeconomic conditions and links this data to existing Canadian cohort studies and administrative health databases. An initial batch of CANUE exposure datasets have been merged with the national harmonized CanPath dataset and are now available to researchers. These datasets include:

  • Canadian Active Living Environments Database (Can-ALE)
  • Material and Social Deprivation Index
  • Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI; i.e. “greenness” metrics)
  • Annual average nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exposure
  • Annual average ozone (O3) exposure
  • Annual average fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure
  • Annual average sulfur dioxide (SO2) exposure
  • Weather and Climate metrics
  • Satellite based nighttime light




Harmonization Study Design

Exposure datasets were developed using a range of data sources and approaches, which are described in dataset-specific metadata documents. For each dataset, exposure values were indexed to every postal code in Canada in order to facilitate linkage with health databases. Annual exposure metrics were prepared for air quality (SO2, O3, PM2.5, NO2), greenness, nighttime light and weather and climate metrics. The MSDI and Can-ALE datasets cover select Canadian census years.


Core population

CANUE exposure datasets were linked to the CanPath national harmonized dataset using participants’ 6-digit residential postal code at date of recruitment. When an annual exposure dataset was not available for a CanPath baseline assessment year, the closest year for which that exposure was available was used for linkage. For example, PM2.5 datasets cover years 2008 to 2012; participants recruited between 2013 and 2015 were assigned 2012 PM2.5 values. The 2011 MSDI dataset was assigned to all CanPath participants and both 2006 and 2016 Can-ALE datasets are linked to all CanPath participants. Participants for which baseline residential 6-digit postal code was not valid or available are assigned missing data for all environmental exposures.


Variable classifications