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1.  Acculturation and Nutritional Health of Immigrants in Canada: A Scoping Review 
Although recent immigrants to Canada are healthier than Canadian born (i.e., the Healthy Immigrant Effect), they experience a deterioration in their health status which is partly due to transitions in dietary habits. Since pathways to these transitions are under-documented, this scoping review aims to identify knowledge gaps and research priorities related to immigrant nutritional health. A total of 49 articles were retrieved and reviewed using electronic databases and a stakeholder consultation was undertaken to consolidate findings. Overall, research tends to confirm the Healthy Immigrant Effect and suggests that significant knowledge gaps in nutritional health persist, thereby creating a barrier to the advancement of health promotion and the achievement of maximum health equity. Five research priorities were identified including (1) risks and benefits associated with traditional/ethnic foods; (2) access and outreach to immigrants; (3) mechanisms and coping strategies for food security; (4) mechanisms of food choice in immigrant families; and (5) health promotion strategies that work for immigrant populations.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10903-013-9823-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3895180  PMID: 23595263
Dietary acculturation; Immigrant health; Canada; Nutrition
2.  An ecological quantification of the relationships between water, sanitation and infant, child, and maternal mortality 
Environmental Health  2012;11:4.
Water and sanitation access are known to be related to newborn, child, and maternal health. Our study attempts to quantify these relationships globally using country-level data: How much does improving access to water and sanitation influence infant, child, and maternal mortality?
Data for 193 countries were abstracted from global databases (World Bank, WHO, and UNICEF). Linear regression was used for the outcomes of under-five mortality rate and infant mortality rate (IMR). These results are presented as events per 1000 live births. Ordinal logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios for the outcome of maternal mortality ratio (MMR).
Under-five mortality rate decreased by 1.17 (95%CI 1.08-1.26) deaths per 1000, p < 0.001, for every quartile increase in population water access after adjustments for confounders. There was a similar relationship between quartile increase of sanitation access and under-five mortality rate, with a decrease of 1.66 (95%CI 1.11-1.32) deaths per 1000, p < 0.001. Improved water access was also related to IMR, with the IMR decreasing by 1.14 (95%CI 1.05-1.23) deaths per 1000, p < 0.001, with increasing quartile of access to improved water source. The significance of this relationship was retained with quartile improvement in sanitation access, where the decrease in IMR was 1.66 (95%CI 1.11-1.32) deaths per 1000, p < 0.001. The estimated odds ratio that increased quartile of water access was significantly associated with increased quartile of MMR was 0.58 (95%CI 0.39-0.86), p = 0.008. The corresponding odds ratio for sanitation was 0.52 (95%CI 0.32-0.85), p = 0.009, both suggesting that better water and sanitation were associated with decreased MMR.
Our analyses suggest that access to water and sanitation independently contribute to child and maternal mortality outcomes. If the world is to seriously address the Millennium Development Goals of reducing child and maternal mortality, then improved water and sanitation accesses are key strategies.
PMCID: PMC3293047  PMID: 22280473
Water; Sanitation; Maternal health; Infant health; Child health; Millennium development goals
3.  Spatial analysis of air pollution and childhood asthma in Hamilton, Canada: comparing exposure methods in sensitive subgroups 
Environmental Health  2009;8:14.
Variations in air pollution exposure within a community may be associated with asthma prevalence. However, studies conducted to date have produced inconsistent results, possibly due to errors in measurement of the exposures.
A standardized asthma survey was administered to children in grades one and eight in Hamilton, Canada, in 1994–95 (N ~1467). Exposure to air pollution was estimated in four ways: (1) distance from roadways; (2) interpolated surfaces for ozone, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and nitrous oxides from seven to nine governmental monitoring stations; (3) a kriged nitrogen dioxide (NO2) surface based on a network of 100 passive NO2 monitors; and (4) a land use regression (LUR) model derived from the same monitoring network. Logistic regressions were used to test associations between asthma and air pollution, controlling for variables including neighbourhood income, dwelling value, state of housing, a deprivation index and smoking.
There were no significant associations between any of the exposure estimates and asthma in the whole population, but large effects were detected the subgroup of children without hayfever (predominately in girls). The most robust effects were observed for the association of asthma without hayfever and NO2LUR OR = 1.86 (95%CI, 1.59–2.16) in all girls and OR = 2.98 (95%CI, 0.98–9.06) for older girls, over an interquartile range increase and controlling for confounders.
Our findings indicate that traffic-related pollutants, such as NO2, are associated with asthma without overt evidence of other atopic disorders among female children living in a medium-sized Canadian city. The effects were sensitive to the method of exposure estimation. More refined exposure models produced the most robust associations.
PMCID: PMC2669065  PMID: 19338672

Results 1-3 (3)