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Coming to Canada: the difference in health trajectories between immigrants and native-born residents

  • Original Article
  • Published:
International Journal of Public Health

Abstract

Objectives

This study investigates improvements as well as declines in health with four health measures for immigrants and native-born residents.

Methods

We used longitudinal data from Statistics Canada National Population Health Survey, which represented 8,474 native-born residents and 1,339 immigrants from 1994/95 to 2004/05. Multinomial logistic regressions were used to evaluate self-perceived health, chronic condition, health utility index, and body mass index.

Results

The results showed that some immigrants were more likely to report a decline in health, while others were more likely to report an improvement in health relative to native-born residents. For example, immigrants had a higher odds ratio of both reporting (1.63: 95 % CI 1.22–2.18) and no longer reporting (1.49: 95 % CI 1.04–2.14) a chronic condition in subsequent survey years than native-born residents.

Conclusions

Our finding may be attributable to immigrants inconsistently reporting, or a dichotomous health trajectory. Longitudinal data with physical measurements may be required to decipher our observations.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Dr. Hude Quan’s Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Health Scholar award. The funding sources had no role in the study’s design, data collection, analysis, or interpretation.

Conflict of interest

None declared.

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Correspondence to Lawrence So.

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So, L., Quan, H. Coming to Canada: the difference in health trajectories between immigrants and native-born residents. Int J Public Health 57, 893–904 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-012-0398-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-012-0398-1

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