Health status of older Chinese in Canada: Findings from the SF-36 health survey

Wing Leung Lai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite the fact that the Chinese belong to the largest visible minority group in Canada, there is little research findings on their health status, particularly the aging adults. This research aimed at bridging the knowledge gap by examining the health status of this population and comparing the health status between the Chinese aging population and the general aging population in Canada. Methods: Secondary data analysis of data obtained from a multi-site study, Health and Well Being of Older Chinese in Canada, and from the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form (SF-36). The SF-36 published scores obtained from the same age cohorts in the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study were used for comparison purposes. Independent samples t-tests were used to compare the statistical significance of the two groups. Results: Overall, older Chinese-Canadians reported better physical health than all older adults in the Canadian population. However, the older Chinese in all age and gender groups scored lower in the mental component summary (MCS). Despite the age differences, Chinese women reported statistically poorer health than the Chinese men in all of the 8 health domains. Conclusion: The data are useful for forming baselines for monitoring the effectiveness of future health interventions for this population. Efforts by service providers to address the health needs of older Chinese-Canadian women, the most vulnerable subgroup in this study, are essential. Interventions are also needed to address the poor mental health status in this ethnic minority group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-197
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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