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J Immigr Minor Health. 2013 Oct;15(5):851-7. doi: 10.1007/s10903-012-9677-4.

Does the healthy immigrant effect extend to anxiety disorders? Evidence from a nationally representative study.

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Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Room 3105, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8M5, Canada.


It is currently unknown whether the healthy immigrant effect applies to anxiety disorders. To assess the association between immigrant identity and anxiety disorders, data from 116,796 adults who participated in the nationally representative 2007-2008 Canadian Community Health Survey were analyzed and potential confounders were controlled by using logistic regression models. Compared to the Canadian-born, recent immigrants had a reduced odds of anxiety disorders in the 18-39 year age group (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.19, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.13, 0.26) and the 40-59 year age group (aOR = 0.26, 95 % CI 0.17, 0.40). Immigrants arriving 10 or more years ago also had a reduced odds of anxiety disorders compared with native born Canadians, but to a lesser extent (18-39: aOR = 0.41, 95 % CI 0.32, 0.53; 40-59: aOR = 0.76, 95 % CI 0.64, 0.90). There was a healthy immigrant effect on anxiety disorders among working age Canadians.

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