Exploring the ‘Healthy Migrant Paradox’ in Sweden. A Cross Sectional Study Focused on Perinatal Outcomes
Evidence shows that in some contexts immigrants have better health than natives in spite of coming from poorer socioeconomic contexts and of facing socioeconomic disadvantages in the host country. However, this is a country or origin- and outcome-specific phenomenon. This study compares different health outcomes derived from birthweight and gestational age among different migrant groups residing in Sweden. Cross-sectional study based on the Swedish Medical Birth Register for years 1987–1993. Multinomial regression models were performed to obtain crude and adjusted Odd Ratios and their 95 % Confidence Intervals. Overall, immigrants show a higher risk of LBW and preterm and a lower risk of macrosomia and post-term. Moreover, some groups performed worse than natives even in indicators at the two ends of the distribution. The healthy migrant paradox is also outcome-specific within different perinatal indicators and the selection explanation cannot fully account for this phenomenon.
KeywordsBirthweight Gestational age Sweden Macrosomia Post-term Migrants
Authors thank Prof. Juan Merlo for the access to the dataset. This work was supported by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE) (Dnr 2012-1367, PI Kirk Scott); Centre for Economic Demography, Lund University and SIMSAM early-life, Lund University (funded by VR#2013-5474. PI, A. Rignell-Hydbom); and from the Labex iPOPs (Pres heSam), reference ANR-10-LABX-0089, laboratoire INED.
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