Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 95, Issue 3, pp I4–I8 | Cite as

Setting the Stage: Reviewing Current Knowledge on the Health of Canadian Immigrants

What Is the Evidence and Where Are the Gaps?
  • Ilene HymanEmail author


The paper reviews current knowledge on the health of Canadian immigrants, examines evidence, and identifies research gaps. The information presented is derived from two recent literature reviews. Most literature suggests that Canadian immigrants, particularly recent arrivals, enjoy health advantages over long-term immigrants and the Canadian-born population in terms of overall health status and the prevalence of certain chronic diseases. Immigrants with infectious diseases may experience improvements in health over time. Patterns of immigrant mental health are less clear. More research is needed on specific health problems, how to address determinants of health, and the types of programs and services necessary to maintain immigrants in good health over time. Steps must be taken to strengthen existing databases and develop new ones.


L’article examine l’état actuel des connaissances sur la santé des immigrants au Canada, étudie les données probantes et dégage des pistes de recherche. L’information présentée découle de deux enquêtes bibliographiques récentes. La plupart des documents examinés semblent indiquer que les immigrants au Canada, tout particulièrement les nouveaux arrivants, jouissent d’une meilleure santé que les immigrants de longue date et la population née au Canada, tant du point de vue de l’état de santé global que de la prévalence de certaines maladies chroniques. Les immigrants atteints de maladies infectieuses peuvent voir leur état de santé s’améliorer avec le temps. Les tendances sont moins claires en ce qui a trait à la santé mentale des immigrants. Il faudrait pousser la recherche sur certains problèmes de santé, sur la façon d’aborder les déterminants de la santé et sur le genre de programmes et de services nécessaires pour maintenir les immigrants en bonne santé au fil du temps. Il faudrait aussi prendre des mesures pour renforcer les bases de données existantes et en créer de nouvelles.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research in Women’s HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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