Migration and Health above Age 50: Is There a Healthy Immigrant Effect and a Mediterranean Paradox in Europe?

Benedetta Pongiglione, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Two among the best known findings in the literature on migration and health are the ‘healthy immigrant effect’ and the ‘Latino paradox’. Both phenomena have been based on studies set in the US or Canada, while the European scenario remains much less explored. This paper aims to shed further light on the validity of these findings in Europe. We used the propensity score matching to compare the health of migrants and non-migrants in 16 European countries. To assess whether Latino paradox has an equivalent in Europe, we identified a subgroup of migrants coming from Mediterranean countries and compared them with natives and non-Mediterranean immigrants. Results showed no substantial differences between migrants and natives. When disparities occurred, immigrants appeared relatively worse off than native-born individuals. Mediterranean immigrants perceived their health poor more frequently, but there were no elements to confirm or controvert the hypothesis of a ‘Mediterranean paradox’ in Europe.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality