Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 33–42 | Cite as

Differential Mortality Patterns Between Nicaraguan Immigrants and Native-born Residents of Costa Rica

  • Andrew Avery HerringEmail author
  • Roger Enrique Bonilla-Carrión
  • Rosilyne Mae Borland
  • Kenneth Hailey Hill
Original Paper


Background This study describes the all-cause and cause-specific mortality of Nicaraguan-born and native-born inhabitants of Costa Rica and examines the influence of socioeconomic and demographic factors on differential mortality risks. Methods We analyzed Costa Rican vital records for the years 1996–2005 with negative binomial regression models to determine the relative mortality risks of Nicaraguan immigrants versus Costa Rican natives with adjustments for age, urbanization, unemployment, poverty, education, and residential segregation. Results Nicaraguan-born men and women had reduced mortality risks of 32% and 34% relative to their Costa Rican-born counterparts. Excess homicide mortality was found among Nicaraguan-born men [rate ratio (RR) = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.19–1.53] and women (RR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.02–1.95). Discussion The Nicaraguan-born population had a reduced all-cause mortality risk versus Costa Rican-born people over the years 1996–2005, due to markedly lower disease mortality. Homicide is a major source of excess mortality among Nicaraguan-born immigrants versus Costa Rican natives.


Costa Rica/epidemiology Nicaragua/epidemiology Mortality Emigration and Immigration Migrant 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Avery Herring
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Roger Enrique Bonilla-Carrión
    • 3
  • Rosilyne Mae Borland
    • 2
  • Kenneth Hailey Hill
    • 4
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.International Organization for MigrationSan JoseCosta Rica
  3. 3.Central American Population CenterUniversity of Costa RicaSan JoseCosta Rica
  4. 4.Harvard Center for Population and Development StudiesHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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