Health status and health care utilization among mid-life Chinese, South Asian, and British Canadians in the lower mainland: An examination of socio-economic, immigration, and cultural dimensions

Dr. Karen Kobayashi has long been interested in how ethnicity affects aging and health. In her current research, Karen is comparing the health of Chinese and South Asian adults—the fastest growing ethnic groups in the Lower Mainland—with Canadians of British origin. She is examining differences in health status and use of health services among middle age Canadians to determine the factors that may promote or impede healthy aging. The research involves interviewing participants to determine how differences in such variables as education, income, time since immigration, English language ability, religious affiliation, and adherence to traditional values affect their health status and the way they use health services. She anticipates the research will reveal differences between and within cultural groups. For example, the way foreign-born and Canadian-born adults access health services may vary within each population group. The way new immigrants use health services may also vary from people who have lived in Canada for 10 years or more. This information could be used to predict health care needs among the groups and improve access to health services for these populations as they age.