International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 49–58 | Cite as

Trajectories of health-related quality of life in immigrants and non-immigrants in Germany: a population-based longitudinal study

  • Yuriy NesterkoEmail author
  • Carmen Meiwes Turrión
  • Michael Friedrich
  • Heide Glaesmer
Original Article



Due to a lack of longitudinal studies on health in immigrants, the purpose of the present study is to investigate trajectories of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in immigrants and non-immigrants in Germany by considering the impact of immigration-related factors.


Based on longitudinal SOEP data from 2002 to 2012, the trajectories of the mental (MCS) and physical component (PCS) of HRQoL (assessed with SF-12v2) were analyzed in 8546 subjects, including 1064 immigrants by conducting hierarchical linear models.


MCS remains stable over time, whereas PCS shows a decrease, influenced by increasing age. There were no differences between immigrants and non-immigrants concerning PCS trajectories as well as no influence of immigration-related factors on it. In contrast, MCS trajectories were influenced by immigration-related factors: 2nd-generation immigrants, participants from Turkey or Southern Europe and those who immigrated at young age show a slight decrease in MCS over time.


The results show negative association between MCS and time in different groups of immigrants. Future research is needed for better conceptualization of the complex interplay between health and migration over time to identify subgroups at greater risk for mental distress.


HRQoL Immigrants Longitudinal SF-12 



Health-related quality of life


Mental health component summary scale of the SF-12v2


Physical health component summary scale of the SF-12v2


Socio-Economic Panel


Former Soviet Union


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statements

As our study has involved only a secondary analysis of anonymized data, an ethics approval was not required. Detailed information on ethical clearance and informed consent given by the participants can be found on Research Infrastructure “Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) via internet (


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuriy Nesterko
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carmen Meiwes Turrión
    • 1
  • Michael Friedrich
    • 1
  • Heide Glaesmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Psychology and Medical SociologyUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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