Background: Hospital records lack information about country of birth. This study describes a method for calculating hospitalization rates by the percentage of foreign-born in Census Dissemination Areas (DAs). Data and methods: Data from the 2006 Census were used to classify DAs by the percentage of the foreignborn population who lived in them. Quintile and tercile thresholds were created to classify DAs as having low to high percentages of foreign-born residents. This information was appended to the 2005/2006 Hospital Morbidity Database via postal codes. Age-sex standardized hospitalization rates were calculated for low to high foreign-born concentration DAs, nationally and subnationally. Results: Nationally, quintile thresholds had better discriminatory power to detect variations in hospitalization rates by foreign-born concentration, but tercile thresholds produced reliable results at subnational levels. All-cause hospitalization rates were lowest among residents of the high foreignborn concentration terciles. Similar gradients emerged in hospitalization rates for heart disease, diseases of the circulatory system, and mental health conditions. The pattern varied more at the subnational level.Interpretation: With this approach, administrative data can be used to calculate hospitalization rates by foreignborn concentration.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Administrative data, Ecological studies, Hospital records, Immigration, Public health surveillance
Journal Health Reports
Citation
Carrière, G. (Gisèle), Peters, P, & Sanmartin, C. (Claudia). (2012). Area-based methods to calculate hospitalization rates for the foreign-born population in Canada, 2005/2006. Health Reports, 23(3), 1–9.