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Socioeconomic gradients in all-cause, premature and avoidable mortality among immigrants and long-term residents using linked death records in Ontario, Canada


Background — Immigrants have been shown to possess a health advantage, yet are also more likely to reside in arduous economic conditions. Little is known about if and how the socioeconomic gradient for all-cause, premature and avoidable mortality differs according to immigration status.

Methods — Using several linked population-based vital and demographic databases from Ontario, we examined a cohort of all deaths in the province between 2002 and 2012. We constructed count models, adjusted for relevant covariates, to attain age-adjusted mortality rates and rate ratios for all-cause, premature and avoidable mortality across income quintile in immigrants and long-term residents, stratified by sex.

Results — A downward gradient in age-adjusted all-cause mortality was observed with increasing income quintile, in immigrants (males: Q5: 13.32, Q1: 20.18; females: Q5: 9.88, Q1: 12.51) and long-term residents (males: Q5: 33.25, Q1: 57.67; females: Q5: 22.31, Q1: 36.76). Comparing the lowest and highest income quintiles, male and female immigrants had a 56% and 28% lower all-cause mortality rate, respectively. Similar trends were observed for premature and avoidable mortality. Although immigrants had consistently lower mortality rates compared with long-term residents, trends only differed statistically across immigration status for females (p<0.05).

Conclusions — This study illustrated the presence of income disparities as it pertains to all-cause, premature, and avoidable mortality, irrespective of immigration status. Additionally, the immigrant health advantage was observed and income disparities were less pronounced in immigrants compared with long-term residents. These findings support the need to examine the factors that drive inequalities in mortality within and across immigration status.



Khan AM, Urquia M, Kornas K, Henry D, Cheng SY, Bornbaum C, Rosella LC. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2017; 71(7):625-32. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

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