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Risk of stroke lower for recent Ontario immigrants: study

Thirty per cent lower risk of premature acute stroke for new arrivals

Toronto, February 3, 2010

Recent immigrants to Ontario have a 30 per cent lower risk of stroke than long term residents, according to preliminary study results from researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).

“What we learned could translate into long-term health benefits for the whole population,” says Dr. Gustavo Saposnik, a neurologist at St. Michael’s Hospital. “We need to do further research but the study points to the need for policies that aim to preserve the healthier state of new immigrants while continuing to focus on lowering stroke risk among all adults.”

Published today in Neurology®, the American Academy of Neurology medical journal, the study identified all new immigrants to Ontario over a 12 year period and matched them to people of the same age and gender who had lived in the province for at least five years. The participants ranged in age 16 to 65 with an average age of 34.