Immigrant minorities in Canada are more at risk of PTSD


Minority immigrant groups had higher rates of PTSD than Canadian-born minorities and white immigrants. Socio-economic status, health and nutrition also played a role according to a study published in Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology.

The researchers used data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), which includes Canadians aged 45 to 85. A random selection of participants was invited to participate. Over 30,000 adults participated. Researchers assessed PTSD, ethnicity, immigration status, demographic information, health status, and nutritional information.

The prevalence of PTSD among minority immigrants (7.5%) was more than double that of white immigrants (3.6%, p

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Looking at demographic and socioeconomic variables, adults aged 45 to 55, those earning less than C $ 100,000 per year, and those who were widowed, divorced, or separated were at higher risk for PTSD. Participants who reported 2 or more health problems, suffered from chronic pain, smoked, and had a low height-to-height ratio had a higher risk of PTSD.

Adults who ate foods high in fiber less than 3 times a day had lower levels of PTSD than adults who ate only one source of fiber. Adults who ate a lot of pastries and chocolate also had higher levels of PTSD than their unsweetened counterparts.

The study was limited by a small sample size of people aged 55 and over and cross-sectional data. Information on traumatic experiences that may have caused PTSD was not available.

“This survey provides important information for the development of policies and programs aimed at alleviating PTSD in middle-aged and older adults, particularly for marginalized groups such as visible minority immigrants,” concluded the researchers. “Future surveys that use estimation models like these as well as longitudinal analyzes may better inform mental health practices and policies for both preventing and treating PTSD. “


Davison KM, Hyland CE, West ML et al. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in middle-aged and older adults differs by immigrant status and ethnicity, nutrition, and other determinants of health in the Canadian Longitudinal Study of aging (ELCV). Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. Published online February 3, 2021. doi: 10.1007 / s00127-020-02003-7


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