223682 'Healthy migrant effect' in late-life? Implications for physical and mental health of migrants across 11 European countries

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Keren Ladin, MSc , Department of Health Policy, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Steffen Reinhold, PhD , University of Mannheim, Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging, Mannheim, Germany
Objectives: The ‘healthy migrant effect', lower mortality rates of immigrants compared to natives in their host country, has been documented in working-age migrants using physical health indicators. Consequences of migration for mental health and aging remain unclear. We examine two unanswered questions: do immigrants to Europe exhibit the ‘healthy migrant effect' in later life, and does the advantage documented for physical health hold also for mental health?

Methods: Using a sample of 12,247 non-institutionalized men over 50 years in 11 countries, we examine the impact of host country and country of origin on immigrant health using multivariate logistic regression models. The roles of citizenship, job satisfaction and work-related stress were also examined.

Results: Immigrants face 1.54 increased odds of depression despite a large physical health advantage, evidenced by 0.72 lower odds of chronic illness compared to non-migrants. Country of origin and occupational stress were predictive, though citizenship was not.

Conclusions: The ‘healthy migrant effect' persists throughout the lifecourse, yet immigrants suffer substantially higher rates of depression. Increased duration of stay is associated with poorer health, perhaps because of relative deprivation.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
*Define and describe the healthy migrant effect in the context of aging populations *Examine whether advantages in physical health amongst immigrants hold for mental health as well *Discuss implications of immigration on health in later life, estimating disparities in physical and mental health between native and foreign born residents. *Identify ways in which the health system can be harnessed to mitigate mental health disparities in immigrant populations

Keywords: Health Disparities, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I direct health policy and ethics studies and oversaw this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.