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Mortality among US-born and immigrant Hispanics in the US: effects of nativity, duration of residence, and age at immigration

Abstract

Objectives

We examined the effects of duration of residence and age at immigration on mortality among US-born and foreign-born Hispanics aged 25 and older.

Methods

We analyzed the National Health Interview Survey-National Death Index linked files from 1997–2009 with mortality follow-up through 2011. We used Cox proportional hazard models to examine the effects of duration of US residence and age at immigration on mortality for US-born and foreign-born Hispanics, controlling for various demographic, socioeconomic and health factors. Age at immigration included 4 age groups: <18, 18–24, 25–34, and 35+ years. Duration of residence was 0–15 and >15 years.

Results

We observed a mortality advantage among Hispanic immigrants compared to US-born Hispanics only for those who had come to the US after age 24 regardless of how long they had lived in the US. Hispanics who immigrated as youths (<18) did not differ from US-born Hispanics on mortality despite duration of residence.

Conclusions

Findings suggest that age at immigration, rather than duration of residence, drives differences in mortality between Hispanic immigrants and the US-born Hispanic population.

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Correspondence to Julia S. Holmes.

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Holmes, J.S., Driscoll, A.K. & Heron, M. Mortality among US-born and immigrant Hispanics in the US: effects of nativity, duration of residence, and age at immigration. Int J Public Health 60, 609–617 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-015-0686-7

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Keywords

  • Immigration
  • Age at immigration
  • Mortality
  • Health behaviors
  • Hispanics
  • Acculturation