Skip to main content
×
×
Home

International migration and health inequalities in later life

  • DONATELLA LANARI (a1) (a2) and ODOARDO BUSSINI (a2)
Abstract

The aim of this paper is to ascertain the existence of differences in self-perceived health and depression between immigrants and native-born populations aged 50 years and older living in Western and Northern European countries. We examine the effect of country of origin, length of time in the host country and citizenship on the health of adults, using data from the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). As the logistic regressions reveal, some immigrant groups are more likely to perceive worse self-rated health and to suffer from depression than native-born groups, even when demographic and socio-economic variables are taken into account. In particular, people born in Eastern Europe living in Germany, France and Sweden have the highest odds ratio of poor health with respect to natives. Nativity status, duration and citizenship clearly contribute towards explaining health differences which are shown to vary significantly across countries. Furthermore, the perception of poor health rises as the length of stay increases, although a non-linear pattern was found. Results indicate that greater efforts by policy makers are needed in order to improve the health of specific middle-aged and older groups of immigrants in Europe.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Donatella Lanari, Department of Economics, Finance and Statistics, University of Perugia, via Pascoli 20, Perugia 06123, Italy. E-mail: donatella.lanari@uniroma1.it
References
Hide All
Angel, J. L., Buckley, C. J. and Sakamoto, A. 2001. Duration or disadvantage? Exploring nativity, ethnicity, and health in midlife. Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 56B, 5, 275–84.
Beekman, A. T. F., Deeg, D. H. J., Braam, A. W., Smit, J. H. and Van Tilburg, W. 1997. Consequences of major and minor depression in later life: a study of disability, well-being and service utilization. Psychological Medicine, 27, 6, 1397–409.
Bhugra, D. 2004. Migration and mental health. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 109, 4, 243–58.
Bhugra, D. and Jones, P. 2001. Migration and mental illness. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 7, 3, 216–22.
Biddle, N., Kennedy, S. and McDonald, J. T. 2007. Health assimilation patterns amongst Australian immigrants. The Economic Record, 83, 260, 1630.
Borjas, G. J. and Bronnars, S. G. 1990. Immigration and the family. Working Paper No. 3509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Burstrom, B., and Fredlund, P. 2001. Self-rated health: is it as good a predictor of subsequent mortality among adults in lower as well as in higher social classes? Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 55, 11, 836–40.
Carrasco-Garrido, P., Gil, A., Hernández, V. and Jiménez-García, R. 2007. Health profiles, lifestyles and use of health resources by the immigrant population resident in Spain. European Journal of Public Health, 17, 5, 503–7.
Carrasquillo, O., Carrasquillo, A. I. and Shea, S. 2000. Health insurance coverage of immigrants living in the United States: differences by citizenship status and country of origin. American Journal of Public Health, 90, 6, 917–23.
Carta, M. G., Bernal, M., Hardoy, M. C., Haro-Abad, J. M. and the ‘Report on the Mental Health in Europe’ Working Group 2005. Migration and mental health in Europe (the state of the mental health in Europe working group: appendix 1). Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 1, 13.
Correa, H. and Namkoong, K. 1992. Determinants and effects of health policy. Journal of Policy Modeling, 14, 1, 4163.
Dalgard, O. S. and Thapa, S. B. 2007. Immigration, social integration and mental health in Norway, with focus on gender differences. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 3, 24. Available online at http://www.cpementalhealth.com/content/3/1/24.
Dowd, J. and Bengtson, V. 1978. Aging in minority populations: an examination of the double jeopardy hypothesis. Journal of Gerontology, 33, 3, 427–36.
Fassmann, H. and Münz, R. 1992. Patterns and trends of international migration in Western Europe. Population and Development Review, 18, 3, 457–80.
Hajat, A., Lucas, J. B. and Kington, R. 2000. Health Outcomes Among Hispanic Subgroups: United States, 1992–1995. Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics. Volume 310, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Maryland.
Idler, E. and Benyamini, Y. 1997. Self-rated health and mortality: a review of twenty-seven communities. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 38, 1, 2137.
Jasso, G., Massey, S. D., Rosenzweig, M. R. and Smith, J. P. 2004. Immigrant health: selectivity and acculturation. In Anderson Norman, B. (ed.), Critical Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health in Late Life. National Academies Press, Washington DC, 227–66.
Julian, R. and Easthope, G. 1996. Migrant health. In Grbich, C. (ed.), Health in Australia. Prentice Hall, Sydney, 103–25.
Jusot, F., Solva, J., Dourgnon, P. and Sermet, C. 2009. Inégalité de santé liées à l'immigration en France. Effet des conditions de vie ou sélection à la migration? Revue Economique, 60, 2, 385411.
Kennedy, S., McDonald, J. T. and Biddle, N. 2006. The healthy immigrant effect and immigrant selection: evidence from four countries. Research Paper No. 164, Social and Economic Dimension of an Aging Population (SEDAP), McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Khlat, M. and Courbage, Y. 1996. Mortality and causes of death of Maroccans in France, 1979–91. Population English Selection, 8, 5994.
Leão, T. S., Sundquist, J., Johansson, S.-E. and Sundquist, K. 2009. The influence of age at migration and length of residence on self-rated health among Swedish immigrants: a cross-sectional study. Ethnicity & Health, 14, 1, 93105.
Marmot, M. G., Adelstein, A. M. and Bulusu, L. 1984. Lessons from the study of immigrant mortality. Lancet, 112, 1, 1455–7.
Mitrushina, M. N. and Satz, P. 1991. Correlates of self-rated health in the elderly. Aging, 3, 1, 73–7.
Mladovsky, P. 2007. Migration and health in EU health systems. Euro Observer, 9, 1–2.
Newbold, K. B. and Danforth, J. 2003. Health status and Canada's immigrant population. Social Science and Medicine, 57, 10, 1981–95.
Newbold, K. B. and Filice, J. K. 2006. Health status of older immigrants to Canada. Canadian Journal on Aging, 25, 3, 305–19.
Norman, A. 1985. Triple Jeopardy: Growing Old in a Second Homeland. Centre for Policy on Ageing, London.
Palloni, A. and Arias, E. 2004. Paradox lost: explaining the Hispanic adult mortality advantage. Demography, 41, 3, 385415.
Pérez, C. E. 2002. Health status and health behaviour among immigrants. Health Reports, 13, supplement, 89100.
Pol, L. G. and Thomas, R. K. 1992. The Demography of Health and Health Care. Plenum Press, New York.
Prince, M. J., Reischies, F., Beekman, A. T. F., Fuhrer, R., Jonker, C., Kivelä, S.-L., Lawlor, B., Lobo, A., Magnússon, H., Fichter, I., van Oyen, H., Roelands, M., Skoog, I., Turrina, C. and Copeland, J. R. M. 1999 a. Development of the EURO-D scale – a European Union initiative to compare symptoms of depression in 14 European centres. British Journal of Psychiatry, 174, 4, 330–8.
Prince, M. J., Reischies, F., Beekman, A. T. F., Fuhrer, R., Jonker, C., Kivelä, S.-L., Lawlor, B., Lobo, A., Magnússon, H., Fichter, I., van Oyen, H., Roelands, M., Skoog, I., Turrina, C. and Copeland, J. R. M. 1999 b. Depression symptoms in late life assessed using the EURO-D scale. British Journal of Psychiatry, 174, 4, 339–45.
Prohaska, T. and Clark, M. 1994. The interpretation – and misinterpretation – of health status and risk assessment. Generations, 18, 1, 5761.
Pudaric, S., Sundquist, J. and Johansson, S.-E. 2003. Country of birth, instrumental activities of daily living, self-rated health and mortality: a Swedish population-based survey of people aged 55–74. Social Science and Medicine, 56, 12, 2493–503.
Ringbäck, G., Gullberg, A., Hjern, A. and Rosén, M. 1999. Mortality statistics in immigrant research: method for adjusting underestimation of mortality. International Journal of Epidemiology, 28, 4, 756–63.
Ronellenfitsch, U. and Razum, O. 2004. Deteriorating health satisfaction among immigrants from Eastern Europe to Germany. International Journal for Equity in Health, 3, 4. Available online at http://www.equityhealthj.com/content/3/1/4.
Silveira, E. R. and Ebrahim, S. 1998. Social determinants of psychiatric morbidity and well-being in immigrant elders and whites in East London. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 13, 11, 801–12.
Silveira, E. R., Skoog, I., Sundh, V., Allebeck, P. and Steen, B. 2002. Health and well-being among 70-year-old migrants living in Sweden – results from the H 70 gerontological and geriatric population studies in Göteborg. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 37, 1, 1322.
Simon, J. G., De Boer, J. B., Joung, I. M., Bosma, H. and Mackenbach, J. P. 2005. How is your health in general? A qualitative study on self-assessed health. European Journal of Public Health, 15, 2, 200–8.
Sundquist, J. and Johansson, S.-E. 1997. Self-reported poor health and low educational level predictors for mortality: a population-based follow-up study of 39,156 people in Sweden. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 51, 1, 3540.
Sundquist, K. and Li, X. 2006. Coronary hearth disease risks in first- and second-generation immigrants in Sweden: a follow-up study. Journal of Internal Medicine, 259, 4, 418–27.
UNESCO 1997. Institute for Statistics, International Standard Classification of Education. Available online at http://www.uis.unesco.org/TEMPLATE/pdf/isced/ISCED_A.pdf [Accessed April 2010].
Uniken Venema, H. P., Garretsen, H. F. L. and Van der Maas, P. J. 1995. Health of migrants and migrant health policy, the Netherlands as an example. Social Science and Medicine, 41, 6, 809–18.
United Nations 2008. Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use, Revision 4 Statistics Division of United Nations. Sales No. 98.XVII.9, United Nations, Geneva.
Vaillant, N. and Wolff, F.-C. 2010. Origin differences in self-reported health among older migrants living in France. Working Paper Lemna, Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique, Université de Nantes, EA 4272, 2010–01.
Waite, L. and Gallagher, M. 2000. The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier and Better Off Financially. Doubleday, New York.
Warnes, A. M., Friedrich, K., Kellaher, L. and Torres, S. 2004. The diversity and welfare of older migrants in Europe. Ageing & Society, 24, 3, 307–26.
Warnes, A. M. and Williams, A. 2006. Older migrants in Europe: a new focus for migration studies. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32, 8, 1257–81.
Weitzman, B. C. and Berry, C. A. 1992. Health status and health care utilization among New York city home attendants: an illustration of the needs of working poor immigrant women. Women Health, 19, 2/3, 87105.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed