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Can J Public Health. 2004 May-Jun;95(3):I9-13.

Recent research on immigrant health from statistics Canada's population surveys.

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Health Statistics Division, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, ON.


This paper reviews recent research using Statistics Canada data to compare immigrant health with that of the Canadian-born. A number of Statistics Canada studies have been used for such comparisons, including the National Population Health Survey and the Canadian Community Health Survey. Across the range of indicators studied, compared to the Canadian-born, immigrants are generally in as good or better health, have similar or better health behaviours, and similar or less frequent health service use (the "healthy immigrant effect"). These indications appear to be strongest among recent and non-European immigrants. These studies have established baseline patterns and identified that important distinctions exist among immigrant subgroups. Future research on more detailed subgroups that uses longitudinal data and cross-culturally validated instruments is needed.

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