Are There Migrant Health Advantages or Negative Immigrant Adaptations in Hypertension Awareness, Treatment, and Control?

Emily Steiner, University of Colorado at Boulder
Fernando Riosmena, University of Colorado at Boulder
Richard G. Rogers, University of Colorado at Boulder

Latin American migrants in the U.S. have lower prevalence of many chronic diseases relative to several race/ethnic groups with higher socioeconomic status (SES). We study whether this (paradoxical) health advantage translates into more effective chronic disease control, or whether poor control is a pathway by which increasing U.S. experience worsens migrant health. We examine race/ethnic/nativity differences in hypertension awareness, intervention, treatment, and control using the 2005-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Mexican immigrants indeed have lower odds (OR=0.60) of being diagnosed with hypertension than non-Hispanic whites after controlling for SES, behavioral, and health care indicators. However, consistent with negative adaptation in health, Mexican immigrants have lower odds of intervention (OR=0.86), treatment (OR=0.74), and control (OR=0.61). Although protective resources could be reducing the disease incidence among migrant populations, we question their role in the so-called Hispanic Health Paradox given that they appear to be less effective in disease control.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality