Poor immigrant language skills lead to poor health: Study

April 11, 2016

By Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun |

Immigrants with poor skills in English or French are three times more likely to report ill health, according to a study by Statistics Canada.

The unique report found that many immigrants who arrive in Canada in good health start declining if they have poor language skills.

“The odds that immigrants with persistently limited proficiency would report poor health … were close to three times the odds for immigrants whose language abilities were persistently good,” said the report, titled Official Language proficiency and self-reported health among immigrants to Canada.

There is another nugget linked to poor health for immigrants — in regards to Vancouver — buried in the report.

Health decline was also worse “for immigrants who were older, who had arrived as refugees, who were not working, who were not satisfied with their housing and who lived in Vancouver.”

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