The Health of Mexican Immigrants in the United States: Acculturation or Cohort Effects?

Award Year:
José Escarce, Leo Morales
Health Disparities, Minority Health
Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S. Nearly 60 percent are of Mexican origin, many of them recent immigrants. Despite the size and continued growth of this population, large gaps remain in our understanding of the factors that affect the health and health behaviors of Mexican immigrants. Co-investigators José J. Escarce, M.D., Ph.D. and Leo S. Morales, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., examine the health of Mexican immigrants by assessing the relative importance of acculturation and cohort effects. Their project, The Health of Mexican Immigrants in the U.S.: Acculturation or Cohort Effects?, explores the "Hispanic paradox" that is, the phenomenon of immigrants of low socioeconomic status who nevertheless are healthy and exhibit healthy behaviors. The co-investigators also examine apparent health declines among Mexican immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for many years and have become acculturated. Drs. Escarce and Morales analyze health trends in Mexico, the types of individuals who migrate, health differences among immigrants who arrived here over various time periods, and changes in immigration policy to assess future demands on the delivery and financing of U.S. health care.