Ethnic Variations in Immigrant Health: A Gendered Analysis of Six Immigrant Groups

Jen'nan G. Read, Duke University
Megan Reynolds, Duke University

Leading explanations for immigrant health derive mainly from studies of Mexican Americans. Recent case studies suggest that these explanations may be less generalizable than previously believed, but few have examined this question systematically. Using new data from the 2000 through 2007 National Health Interview Surveys, we examine how well conventional theories of immigrant health apply to six immigrant groups, focusing on differences by region of birth and gender. The results reveal tremendous diversity across immigrant groups. Immigrants from Africa and India have much more advantaged health profiles than Mexican immigrants, and the gender gap in health for these groups is quite small. In contrast, European and Middle Eastern immigrants have health profiles more in line with Mexican immigrants and exhibit much greater disparities between men and women. We test explanations for such variability and suggest avenues of future research to better understand the diverse health profiles of newer immigrant groups.

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Presented in Session 93: Race, Gender and Health Outcomes