Health Selectivity and SES-Health Gradients in Mexico-U.S. Migration and Return: A Bi-National Perspective on Older Adults

Fernando Riosmena, University of Colorado at Boulder
Rebeca Wong, University of Maryland

In this paper, we use comparable data in Mexico and the U.S. to study health outcomes of native- and foreign-born Mexicans in the U.S. and of adults in Mexico according to their previous U.S. migration experience. First, we focus on self-reported conditions such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Second, we bolster the analyses by examining some biomarkers assessed in representative surveys in both sides of the border and examine patterns of mortality among U.S. immigrants in the US and Mexicans living in Mexico. Finally, we evaluate the SES gradient of these conditions and compare them across the two subpopulations. Given this research design, our analyses are somewhat shielded from biases that weaken studies based on samples on only one side of the border. These comparisons provide evidence for the degree and direction of selection in the U.S.-bound and in the Mexico-bound return migrant population.

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Presented in Session 6: Race/Ethnic Differences in Adult Health and Mortality