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Healthier before they migrate, less healthy when they return? The health of returned migrants in Mexico

Author

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  • Ullmann, S. Heidi
  • Goldman, Noreen
  • Massey, Douglas S.

Abstract

Over the course of the 20th century, Mexico-U.S. migration has emerged as an important facet of both countries, with far reaching economic and social impacts. The health of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. has been well studied, but relatively less is known about the health of returned migrants to Mexico. The objectives of this paper are twofold. Relying on health data pertaining to two stages of the life course, early life health (pre-migration) and adult health (post-migration) from the Mexican Migration Project gathered between 2007 and 2009, we aim to assess disparities in adult health status between male returned migrants and male non-migrants in Mexico, accounting for their potentially different early life health profiles. While we find evidence that returned migrants had more favorable early life health, the results for adult health are more complex. Returned migrants have a higher prevalence of heart disease, emotional/psychiatric disorders, obesity, and smoking than non-migrants but no differences are found in self-rated health, diabetes, or hypertension.

Suggested Citation

  • Ullmann, S. Heidi & Goldman, Noreen & Massey, Douglas S., 2011. "Healthier before they migrate, less healthy when they return? The health of returned migrants in Mexico," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 421-428, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:3:p:421-428
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ro, Annie & Fleischer, Nancy L. & Blebu, Bridgette, 2016. "An examination of health selection among U.S. immigrants using multi-national data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 114-121.
    2. Ying Liang, 2015. "Correlations Between Health-Related Quality of Life and Interpersonal Trust: Comparisons Between Two Generations of Chinese Rural-to-Urban Migrants," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 677-700, September.
    3. Noreen Goldman & Anne Pebley & Mathew Creighton & Graciela Teruel & Luis Rubalcava & Chang Chung, 2014. "The Consequences of Migration to the United States for Short-Term Changes in the Health of Mexican Immigrants," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(4), pages 1159-1173, August.
    4. Erika Arenas & Noreen Goldman & Anne Pebley & Graciela Teruel, 2015. "Return Migration to Mexico: Does Health Matter?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(6), pages 1853-1868, December.
    5. Margaret Ralston & Xavier Escandell, 2012. "Networks Matter: Male Mexican Migrants’ Use of Hospitals," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(3), pages 321-337, June.
    6. repec:dem:demres:v:38:y:2018:i:17 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Christina J. Diaz & Stephanie M. Koning & Ana P. Martinez-Donate, 2016. "Moving Beyond Salmon Bias: Mexican Return Migration and Health Selection," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(6), pages 2005-2030, December.
    8. Lu, Yao & Qin, Lijian, 2014. "Healthy migrant and salmon bias hypotheses: A study of health and internal migration in China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 41-48.
    9. Ro, Annie & Fleischer, Nancy, 2014. "Changes in health selection of obesity among Mexican immigrants: A binational examination," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 114-124.
    10. Osea Giuntella, 2016. "Assimilation and Health: Evidence From Linked Birth Records of Second- and Third-Generation Hispanics," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(6), pages 1979-2004, December.
    11. Yuying Tong & Martin Piotrowski, 2012. "Migration and Health Selectivity in the Context of Internal Migration in China, 1997–2009," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(4), pages 497-543, August.
    12. repec:kap:poprpr:v:37:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11113-017-9456-y is not listed on IDEAS

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