Objective To examine the effect of immigration on the self-reported oral health of immigrants to Canada over a 4-year period. Methods The study used Statistics Canada's Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC 2001-2005). The target population comprised 3976 non-refugee immigrants to Canada. The dependent variable was self-reported dental problems. The independent variables were as follows: age, sex, ethnicity, income, education, perceived discrimination, history of social assistance, social support, and official language proficiency. A generalized estimation equation approach was used to assess the association between dependent and independent variables. Results After 2 years, the proportion of immigrants reporting dental problems more than tripled (32.6%) and remained approximately the same at 4 years after immigrating (33.3%). Over time, immigrants were more likely to report dental problems (OR = 2.77; 95% CI 2.55-3.02). An increase in self-reported dental problems over time was associated with sex, history of social assistance, total household income, and self-perceived discrimination. Conclusion An increased likelihood of reporting dental problems occurred over time. Immigrants should arguably constitute an important focus of public policy and programmes aimed at improving their oral health and access to dental care in Canada.
- longitudinal studies
- oral health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health