Examining the Gender, Ethnicity, and Age Dimensions of the Healthy Immigrant Effect: Implications for Health Care Policy
Using data from the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey, the current study expands on previous research on the healthy immigrant effect (HIE) in adult populations by considering the effects of both immigrant and visible minority status on health for males and females in mid- (45- 64) and later life (65+). The findings indicate that the HIE applies to recent immigrant men in midlife; that is, new male immigrants – those who immigrated less than 10 years ago – have better health compared to their Canadian-born counterparts, and that the effect is particularly strong for visible minorities. The picture is similar for older women who have recently immigrated, however this advantage largely disappears when a number of socio-demographic, socio-economic, and lifestyle factors are controlled. For older men and middle-aged women of color, however, the reality is strikingly different: both groups report health disadvantages compared to their Canadian-born counterparts, with both recent and longer-term midlife women having poorer health. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for health care policy for immigrant adults.
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