Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 51–57 | Cite as

Black–White Health Inequalities in Canada

Original paper


Little is known about Black–White health inequalities in Canada or the applicability of competing explanations for them. To address this gap, we used nine cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey to analyze multiple health outcomes in a sample of 3,127 Black women, 309,720 White women, 2,529 Black men and 250,511 White men. Adjusting for age, marital status, urban/rural residence and immigrant status, Black women and men were more likely than their White counterparts to report diabetes and hypertension, Black women were less likely than White women to report cancer and fair/poor mental health and Black men were less likely than White men to report heart disease. These health inequalities persisted after controlling for education, household income, smoking, physical activity and body-mass index. We conclude that high rates of diabetes and hypertension among Black Canadians may stem from experiences of racism in everyday life, low rates of heart disease and cancer among Black Canadians may reflect survival bias and low rates of fair/poor mental health among Black Canadian women represent a mental health paradox similar to the one that exists for African Americans in the United States.


Canada Black–White Racial health disparities Socioeconomic status Health behaviors Body-mass index 



This research was funded by a grant awarded to Gerry Veenstra by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (G-13-0002797).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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