Linking the Canadian Immigrant Landing File to Hospital Data: A New Data Source for Immigrant Health Research

August 17, 2016

Immigrants comprise an ever-increasing percentage of the Canadian population—at more than 20%, which is the highest percentage among the G8 countries (Statistics Canada 2013a). This figure is expected to rise to 25% to 28% by 2031, when at least one in four people living in Canada will be foreign-born (Statistics Canada 2010).

This report summarizes the linkage of the Immigrant Landing File (ILF) for all provinces and territories, excluding Quebec, to hospital data from the Discharge Abstract Database (DAD), a national database containing information about hospital inpatient and day-surgery events. A deterministic exact-matching approach was used to link data from the 1980-to-2006 ILF and from the DAD (2006/2007, 2007/2008 and 2008/2009) with the 2006 Census, which served as a “bridge” file. This was a secondary linkage in that it used linkage keys created in two previous projects (primary linkages) that separately linked the ILF and the DAD to the 2006 Census. The ILF–DAD linked data were validated by means of a representative sample of 2006 Census records containing immigrant information previously linked to the DAD.

By Claudia Sanmartin, Edward Ng, James Brennan, Scott McLeish, Richard Trudeau, and Doug Manuel
Statistics Canada

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