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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 95, Issue 3, pp I22–I26 | Cite as

New Approaches to Immigrant Health Assessment

  • Marie DesMeules
  • Jenny Gold
  • Arminee Kazanjian
  • Doug Manuel
  • Jennifer Payne
  • Bilkis Vissandjée
  • Sarah McDermott
  • Yang Mao
Article

Abstract

While immigrant subgroups may present vulnerabilities in terms of health status, health service use, and social determinants, comprehensive information on their health is lacking. To examine mortality (1980-1998) and health service utilization (1985-2002) patterns in Canadian immigrants, a record linkage pan-Canadian research initiative using immigration and health databases has been undertaken. Preliminary results indicate that overall mortality is low among Canadian immigrants as compared to the general population for most leading causes (thus supporting the notion of “healthy immigrant effect”), with causespecific exceptions. Moreover, results from British Columbia show that overall physician visits are low for immigrants, but not for all subgroups. Results from Ontario demonstrate a sharp increase in physician claims approximately three months following landing. Future analyses will address the short- and long-term health outcomes of immigrant subgroups, including less common diseases. Results are pertinent to practitioners working with immigrants and can inform immigrant health policy.

Résumé

On sait que certains sous-groupes d’immigrants sont relativement plus vulnérables en ce qui a trait à leur état de santé, à leur utilisation des services de santé et à leurs déterminants sociaux, mais on ne possède pas de renseignements exhaustifs sur leur santé. Pour examiner les tendances de la mortalité (1980-1998) et de l’utilisation des services de santé (1985-2002) chez les immigrants au Canada, nous avons mené un projet de recherche pancanadien à l’aide des bases de données sur l’immigration et la santé. Les résultats préliminaires semblent indiquer que la mortalité globale due aux principales causes de décès est plus faible chez les immigrants au Canada que dans la population générale (ce qui renforce la notion d’un « effet de l’immigrant en bonne santé »), à quelques causes près. De plus, les résultats obtenus en Colombie-Britannique montrent que les visites chez le médecin sont relativement peu nombreuses chez les immigrants dans leur ensemble, mais pas dans tous les sous-groupes. Les résultats obtenus en Ontario montrent une forte augmentation des demandes de paiement des médecins environ trois mois après l’établissement. Des analyses poussées devraient porter sur les résultats sanitaires à court et à long terme dans les sous-groupes d’immigrants, y compris pour les maladies moins communes. Leurs résultats intéresseront les praticiens qui travaillent auprès des immigrants et pourraient étayer la politique sanitaire en matière d’immigration.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie DesMeules
    • 1
  • Jenny Gold
    • 2
  • Arminee Kazanjian
    • 3
  • Doug Manuel
    • 4
  • Jennifer Payne
    • 5
  • Bilkis Vissandjée
    • 6
  • Sarah McDermott
    • 2
  • Yang Mao
    • 7
  1. 1.Population Health Assessment Section, Surveillance Risk Assessment DivisionCentre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Health CanadaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Population Health Assessment Section, Surveillance Risk Assessment DivisionCentre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Health CanadaCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Institute for Clinical Evaluative SciencesTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Population Health Assessment Section, Surveillance Risk Assessment DivisionCentre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Health CanadaCanada
  6. 6.School of Nursing SciencesUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada
  7. 7.Population Health Assessment Section, Surveillance Risk Assessment DivisionCentre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Health CanadaCanada

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