The Effect of Migration Between Mexico and the United States on Disability: A Pooled Cohort Analysis

Leslie Grasset
Maria Glymour, University of California, San Francisco
Lanyu Zhang, University of Miami
Audrey Murchland, University of California, San Francisco
Richard Jones, Brown University
Jacqueline Torres, RWFJ Health & Society Scholars, University of California, San Francisco / University of California
Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri

We have inadequate understanding of how migration influences disability risk in older adults. This is a methodologically challenging question because, although the ideal comparison would be migrants to non-migrants, careful accounting for confounding by factors that influence migration is required. Using harmonized data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) and the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we estimated the effect of migration status (ever migrant vs non-migrant) on Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental ADL (IADL) disability (any impairments). Our sample included 16,747 participants from MHAS who never migrated and 2,479 participants, either MHAS return migrants to Mexico or Mexican-born HRS participants living in the US. Selective migration was accounted for through inverse probability weighting. After adjusting for age, sex, birth year, parental education and IPTW, migrants had more disability in ADL and IADL compared to non-migrants. Childhood SES and predictors of migration did not explain the higher disability burden in migrants.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging