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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Immigrants healthier than Canadian-born citizens: No surprise, there

The healthy immigrant effect persists, according to a Statistics Canada study released Wednesday that found immigrants are generally healthier than Canadian-born citizens.

Although the edge in health declines for immigrants the longer they live in Canada, the mortality rate for newcomers continues to be lower than for Canadian-born residents, even after immigrants have lived here more than 20 years.

The study does not examine the reasons immigrants tend to have better health, but those are likely to include the screening that selects an inherently healthier group of people who arrive in Canada, and also those who have a healthier diet and are more physically active in their native countries.

The longer the immigrants live in Canada, the more closely they adopt the patterns and behaviours common here.

The relationship between immigration and health has become more difficult to determine, however, as the origins and demographics of immigrants to Canada have changed. more