Immigration and depression in Canada: Is there really a healthy immigrant effect? What is the pattern of depression by time since immigration?
Authors: Ruth Leonora Diaz
Objective: This study aimed to contribute to the understanding on inequalities in mental health in Canada by exploring whether or not immigrants have lower prevalence of past-year major depressive episode (MDE) than non-immigrants (i.e., the healthy immigrant effect HIE). Methods: Data were from ten cross-sectional Canadian population health surveys. Survey-specific log odd ratios were calculated, and then pooled using random effects meta-analytic techniques. Results: Evidence of the HIE on MDE was found; however, the HIE disappears with age. The pattern of the HIE by age was observed overall, and when the analysis was conducted by sex, country of birth, and time since immigration. Elder immigrants seem to be at similar or higher risk of MDE than elder Canadian-born. Conclusion: More research is needed to replicate this findings, and to understand why elder immigrants may be at higher risk of MDE than elder non-immigrants.
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