Age at Migration and Mortality in the Older Mexican-Origin Population

Ronald Angel, University of Texas at Austin
Jacqueline L. Angel, University of Texas at Austin
Carlos Diaz-Venegas, University of Texas at Austin
Claude Bonazzo, University of Texas at Austin

This paper examines the fifteen-year mortality experience of the H-EPESE sample, a panel of 3,050 individuals of Mexican-origin who were 65 or older in 1993 and followed-up in 2008. The analysis assesses the impact of age at migration on social support and other risk factors for mortality. A series of survival analyses shows that migration after age fifty is associated with a mortality advantage over the compared with earlier arrivals and the native born or those who arrived early in life net of demographic and other social factors. Lack of family support, chronic illness, and depressive symptoms were associated with an elevated risk of death. The patterns of morbidity and mortality suggest that late-life migrants may be selected for longevity, but because of a lack of medical care earlier in life may suffer more non-fatal chronic and disabling conditions. These possibilities call for further research. 

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Presented in Session 62: Demographic and Economic Outcomes of Immigration