Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Health Status among Black Canadians: Results from a National Survey

Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Health Status among Black Canadians: Results from a National Survey

Article excerpt


This study obtained nationally representative estimates of health-related indicators among native-born Black Canadians, and compared these estimates with those of native-born White Canadians. Data came from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2003-2008). Outcomes included smoking status, general health status, body mass index, and chronic conditions (i.e., asthma, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, cancer). Descriptive statistics and logistic regression models were used to obtain unadjusted and adjusted period prevalence estimates for Black and White survey participants, and to determine the magnitude of health inequalities between racial groups. Estimates were adjusted for various socio-demographic factors to account for potential confounding. After adjustment, Blacks had about 50% lower odds of being current or former smokers (p < 0.0001 for both), 60% lower odds of having cancer (p < 0.01), and 70% lower odds of having heart disease (p < 0.0001), relative to Whites. There were no statistically significant differences across the two racial groups for the remaining health status indicators. Native-born Black Canadians report comparable or better health status relative to their White counterparts.


Pour cette etude, nous avons obtenu des estimations representatives au niveau national d'indicateurs lies a la sante parmi les Canadiens de naissance noirs, et nous les avons comparees a celles de leurs homologues blancs. Les donnees proviennent de l'Enquete sur la sante des communautes canadiennes 2003-2008. Les resultats incluaient le fait d'etre ou non fumeur, la sante en general, l'index de masse corporelle et les conditions chroniques (par exemple: l'asthme, l'hypertension, le diabete, les maladies cardiaques et le cancer). Des statistiques descriptives et des modeles de regression Iogistiques ont permis d'obtenir des estimations de prevalence sur un certain temps, corrigees et non corrigees, pour les Noirs et les Blancs ayant fait partie de L'enquete, et de determiner la magnitude des inegalites en matiere de sante entre les deux groupes. Ces estimations ont ete corrigees en fonction de facteurs socio-demographiques varies pour tenir compte de confusion potentielle. Apres ajustement, les Noirs avaient a environ 50% moins de risques que les Blancs d'etre des fumeurs actueis ou passes (p<0,0001 pour les deux), a 60% d'avoir le cancer (p<0,01) et a 70% d'avoir une maladie cardiaque. II n'y avait pas de differences statistiquement significatives entre les deux groupes en ce qui concerne les autres indicateurs de sante. Les Canadiens de naissance noirs presentaient une sante comparable ou meilleure a celle de leurs homologues blancs.


Research on health disparities and inequalities in North America has consistently documented poorer health outcomes among visible racial minorities relative to Whites (LaVeist 2005a; LaVeist and Isaac 2002; Shi and Stevens 2005). The literature reporting on U.S.-based studies is especially robust, and describes particularly worse health status among African American populations. For instance, non-Hispanic Black Americans have higher rates of hypertension than non-Hispanic White Americans (42% vs. 29%), as well as higher rates of diabetes (19% vs. 10%) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2011a; Keenen and Rosendorf 2011). Rates of heart disease are comparable across the two groups (11% for both Black males and females vs. 11% for White females and 14% for White males), however Blacks are more likely to die from heart disease than Whites (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2011b; Schiller et al. 2012). Current smoking rates are about the same among non-Hispanic Black and White Americans (21% and 22%, respectively), however Black Americans have higher rates of cancer incidence and cancer deaths than White Americans, for a variety of cancers including breast, cervical, prostate, colorectal, lung, liver, and stomach cancers (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2009; National Cancer Institute 2008). …

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