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Immigration factors and potentially avoidable hospitalizations in Canada

TitleImmigration factors and potentially avoidable hospitalizations in Canada
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsLaberge, M., and Leclerc M.
JournalSSM - Population Health
Pages1 - 10
Keywordsambulatory care sensitive conditions, immigration, preventable hospitalizations

Objective Estimate the effect of immigration characteristics on the risk of a hospitalization for an ambulatory care sensitive condition (ACSC). Research design We analyzed data on the Canadian resident adult population aged 18 to 74 years who responded to the 2006 long form Census. The Census data were linked to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)'s Discharge Abstract Database (DAD) for fiscal years 2006-2007, 2007-2008, and 2008-2009. We conducted a logistic regression on the binary variable we created for an ACSC admission. Measures The CIHI definition of ACSC hospitalizations was used to identify potentially avoidable hospitalizations in the DAD. Immigration factors analyzed included years in Canada, ethnic origin, and ability to speak one of the official languages. Results There were 3,342,450 respondents aged between 18 and 74. Using the Canadian at birth as our reference population, recent immigrants (up to five years in Canada) had lower odds of an ACSC hospitalization, regardless of their ethnic origins, with the exception of immigrants from Oceania and from other North American countries for whom the effect was not significant. The protective effect was still present in children of immigrants (AOR=0.89). Immigrants from the Caribbean, from Southern, Eastern, and Western Europe, as well as those from East Asia had lower odds across categories of time spent in Canada. The protective effect was stronger in immigrants from East Asia and lower in those of Oceanic and other North American countries. Conclusions Our results suggest that the healthy immigrant effect dissipates with time in Canada but remains even in children of immigrants. The protective effect differs depending on the ethnic origin of the immigrant.

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