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    • "To overcome the lack of ethnicity information in many databases, researchers have recently proposed the use of patient surnames as a proxy for defining ethnicity (Quan et al. 2004; Lauderdale and Kestenbaum 2000). Paradoxically, however, this amounts to using names, arguably the most sensitive personal variable in health databases, as a proxy for the perhaps less sensitive variable of ethnicity. "
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    ABSTRACT: A telephone survey was conducted in Calgary, Alberta to assess public opinion on collection of ethnicity information in hospitals. Of the 2,799 respondents, 84.8% felt comfortable about recording their ethnicity in hospital charts. This rate held across respondents' age, marital status and ethnic origin. These findings suggest that Canadian health systems should explore the feasibility and ethical suitability of collecting ethnicity data, as this information could contribute to the evaluation and subsequent reduction of ethnic disparities in health and health services access.
    Healthcare policy = Politiques de sante 04/2006; 1(3):55-64. DOI:10.12927/hcpol.2006.18115
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    ABSTRACT: Surnames have the potential to accurately identify ancestral origins as they are passed on from generation to generation. In this study, we developed and validated a Chinese surname list to define Chinese ethnicity. We conducted a literature review, a panel review, and a telephone survey in a randomly selected sample from a Canadian city in 2003 to develop a Chinese surname list. The list was then validated to data from the Canadian Community Health Survey. Both surveys collected information on self-reported ethnicity and surname. Of the 112,452 people analyzed in the Canadian Community Health Survey, 1.6% were self-reported as Chinese. This was similar to the 1.5% identified by the surname list. Compared with self-reported Chinese ethnicity (reference standard), the surname list had 77.7% sensitivity, 80.5% positive predictive value, 99.7% specificity, and 99.6% negative predictive value. When stratifying by sex and marital status, the positive predictive value was 78.9% for married women and 83.6% for never married women. The Chinese surname list appears to be valid in identifying Chinese ethnicity. The validity may depend on the geographic origins and Chinese dialects in given populations.
    Medical Care 05/2006; 44(4):328-33. DOI:10.1097/01.mlr.0000204010.81331.a9 · 2.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To describe mortality, cause of death and life expectancy among Chinese (both immigrant and Canadian-born) and other Canadians in the Province of Alberta. A Chinese surname list was applied to the Alberta Health Insurance Plan and Vital Statistics Birth registry databases to define the Chinese population, and to the Vital Statistics Death registry to determine deaths among Chinese in Alberta from 1995 to 2003. Age- and sex-specific mortality, cause of death and life expectancy were calculated. Of nearly 3 million Alberta residents, about 4% were Chinese in 2003. The age-adjusted mortality for Chinese was 4.2 per 1000 and for non-Chinese 6.2 per 1000 population. Infant mortality was lower for Chinese (4.9/1000 live births) than non-Chinese (6.2/1000 live births). Life expectancy at birth was 6.3 years longer for Chinese males compared to non-Chinese males (83.3 versus 77.0), and 5.4 years longer for Chinese females compared to non-Chinese females (87.9 versus 82.5). Cancer, heart disease and stroke were the leading causes of death for both Chinese and non-Chinese Albertans. The Chinese ethnic population of Alberta had lower mortality and longer life expectancy than remaining Albertans, suggesting that the Chinese population has better health status than other Albertans. Reasons for the health gap between Chinese and non-Chinese populations should be further explored.
    Canadian journal of public health. Revue canadienne de santé publique 01/2007; 98(6):500-5. · 1.02 Impact Factor
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