International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 55, Issue 5, pp 401–411 | Cite as

The self-reported health of legal and illegal/irregular immigrants in the Czech Republic

  • Hynek Pikhart
  • Dusan Drbohlav
  • Dagmar Dzurova
Original Article



To test whether immigrants with illegal/irregular status have higher odds of poor self-rated health (SRH) than immigrants with legal status, and whether different demographic, socioeconomic and psychosocial factors affect SRH among legal and illegal/irregular immigrants.


Analysis is based on data from two questionnaire surveys of 285 Post-Soviet and Vietnamese immigrants (126 legal and 159 illegal/irregular) living and working in the Czech Republic, which were conducted between 2003 and 2006. The risk of poor SRH was estimated by ordered polytomous regression, the dependent variable was SRH, and selected demographic, socioeconomic and psychosocial characteristics entered the analysis as explanatory variables.


Odds of poor SRH among illegal immigrants were not statistically significantly higher than among legal migrants in fully adjusted analysis. Females and older immigrants had poorer SRH. Satisfaction with work, and, partly, with housing were found to have a significant role. Educational level and ‘social communication’ variables did not have an important role in predicting SRH.


Inequalities in SRH among legal and illegal immigrants were largely explained by socioeconomic and psychosocial factors in this study. These results should stimulate further research activities that might improve health policy and planning related to immigrants’ health in this and other countries in Europe.


Self-rated health Illegal/irregular and legal immigrants Post-Soviets Vietnamese Czech Republic 



This article was produced due to the support of the investigative plan of MSM 0021620831 financed by Ministry of Education, Youth and Physical Education of the Czech Republic. Also, we thank the following institutions for their support. The data used in this paper was collected within the following projects: Project of Ministry of Work and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic No.: 1J 057/05-DP1, project EUROCORES—ECRP, No. CRP/06/E001, and Project of Ministry of Work and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic on integration of foreigners in the Czech Republic conducted by the IOM Office in Prague and the Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague.


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College London, International Institute for Society and HealthLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Faculty of ScienceCharles University in PraguePrague 2Czech Republic

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