Immigrants to Canada face early death due to stress

October 27th, 2008 - 11:13 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Oct 27 (IANS) New immigrants to Canada, beware!A new study says immigrants coming to Canada in search of a better life actually put themselves at risk of an early death due to stress.

Scott Lear, a kinesiologist at Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, said Sunday that many healthy immigrants start seeing deterioration in their health soon after landing in this country. Their condition gets only worse as they stay longer in Canada, he said, citing his study on new immigrants.

Lear, who examined over 600 new immigrants from Asia and Europe for a condition called atherosclerosis - which refers to the narrowing of an artery, said they started building more plaque in their arteries as they stayed longer in Canada.

This puts them at a greater risk of death from cardiovascular problems, Lear said in a TV interview.

“We found that immigrants who spent a longer time in Canada actually had a thickening of their artery walls, which puts them at greater risk of heart disease and stroke,” he said.

Lear said the narrowing of arteries was a sign of accumulating plaque in them.

Though neck arteries become narrow with age, but in new immigrants these arteries narrow faster than among other groups, raising risk of death from a heart stroke, he said.

Linking the narrowing of arteries to stress, he said, “We think it has something to do with the challenges of coming to a new country, establishing a financial base, getting a job, getting shelter…doing those things to get settled and maybe putting health on the back burner.”

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