Implications of Black Immigrant Health for U.S. Racial Disparities in Health
- 745 Downloads
This paper contributes to a growing understanding of U.S. black-white health disparities by using national-level data to disaggregate the health status of black Americans into the following subgroups: U.S.-born blacks, black immigrants from Africa, black immigrants from the West Indies, and black immigrants from Europe. Using new data on the 2000 and 2001 National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS), the authors compare the status of U.S.- and foreign-born blacks to that of U.S.-born whites on three measures of health. The analysis finds that U.S.-born and European-born blacks have worse self-rated health, higher odds of activity limitation, and higher odds of limitation due to hypertension compared to U.S.-born whites. In contrast, African-born blacks have better health than U.S.-born whites on all three measures, while West Indian-born blacks have poorer self-rated health and higher odds of limitation due to hypertension but lower odds of activity limitation. These findings suggest that grouping together foreign-born blacks misses important variations within this population. Rather than being uniform, the black immigrant health advantage varies by region of birth and by health status measure. The authors conclude by exploring the implications of these findings for researchers, health professionals, and public policy.
Key wordsblacks racial disparities immigrants ethnic groups
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.CDC. Influence of homocide on racial disparity in life expectancy—United States, 1998. J Am Med Assoc 2001; 22:2805–2807. Hyattsville, Maryland: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.Google Scholar
- 2.Kington R, Nickens HW: Racial and ethnic differences in health: Recent trends, current patterns, and future directions. In: Smelser N, Wilson WJ, Mitchell F, eds. America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Vol. 2. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 2001, pp. 253–310Google Scholar
- 3.CDC: Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH 2010): Addressing disparities in health. Hyattsville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, Division of Data Services, 2003. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/aag_reach.htm
- 4.Williams DR: Racial variations in adult health status: Patterns, paradoxes, and prospects. In: Smelser N, Wilson WJ, Mitchell F, eds. America Becoming: Racial Trends and Their Consequences, Vol. 2. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 2001, pp. 371–410Google Scholar
- 5.Profile of the foreign-born population in the United States and decennial census data. Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1980, 2001Google Scholar
- 9.Hummer RA, Rogers R, Nam CB, LeClere FB: Race/ ethnicity, nativity, and U.S. adult mortality. Soc Sci Q 1999; 80:136–154Google Scholar
- 12.NCHS: Data file documentation, National Health Interview Survey, 2000 (machine readable data file and documentation). Hyattsville, Maryland: National Center for Health Statistics, 2002. Available on-line at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm
- 14.McEwen B, Lasley E: The End of Stress As We Know It. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press; 2002Google Scholar
- 16.Power C, Hertzman C: Health, wellbeing, and coping skills: In: Keating DP, Hertzman C, eds. Developmental Health and a Wealth of Nations: Social, Educational, and Biological Dynamics. New York: Guilford Press; 1999, pp. 41–63Google Scholar