Changes in the 'healthy migrant effect' in Canada: are recent immigrants healthier than they were a decade ago?

J Immigr Minor Health. 2014 Feb;16(1):136-42. doi: 10.1007/s10903-013-9813-9.


This study sought to assess whether the health of recent immigrants to Canada has changed in the past decade. Using the Canadian Community Health Survey this study examined changes in self-perceived health of 5,757 recent immigrants over a decade. Multivariable ordinal logistic regressions were conducted to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between time and self-perceived health. Bivariable analysis showed recent immigrants more likely to report better health. After adjustment, reported health did not change over time (OR 0.97; CI 0.91-1.04). However, being female, increased age, life stress, and smoking all remained associated with higher odds of reporting worse health in both adjusted and unajdusted models. Despite global shifts in health burdens, the health of recent immigrants to Canada does not seem to have changed in the past decade. This suggests they now inhabit an ever more elite health demographic.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Demography
  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires