Ethnicity and postmigration health trajectory in new immigrants to Canada

Il Ho Kim, Christine Carrasco, Carles Muntaner, Kwame McKenzie, Samuel Noh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: In this prospective cohort study, we examined the trajectory of general health during the first 4 years after new immigrants' arrival in Canada. We focused on the change in self-rated health trajectories and their gender and ethnic disparities. Methods: Data were derived from the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada and were collected between April 2001 and November 2005 by Statistics Canada. We used weighted samples of 3309 men and 3351 women aged between 20 and 59 years. Results: At arrival, only 3.5% of new immigrants rated their general health as poor. Significant and steady increases in poor health were revealed during the following 4 years, especially among ethnic minorities and women. Specifically, we found a higher risk of poor health among West Asian and Chinese men and among South Asian and Chinese women than among their European counterparts. Conclusions: Newly arrived immigrants are extremely healthy, but the health advantage dissipates rapidly during the initial years of settlement in Canada. Women and minority ethnic groups may be more vulnerable to social changes and postmigration settlement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e96-e104
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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