Immigrant Health Advantage in Functional Limitations in Midlife and Older Age: (How) Does the Age of Onset Matter?

Zoya Gubernskaya , University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Weihui Zhang, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

The paper uses data from the 2001-2015 Integrated Health Interview Survey (N = 198,003) to test whether the age of onset of functional limitations help explain the differences in old age functional impairment rates between the foreign-born and U.S.-born adults in the U.S. The results show that, adjusting for age, sex, race, marital status and education, immigrants age 50 and over have about 37% lower risks of developing functional limitations than the U.S.-born adults of the same age. Compared to U.S.-born, foreign-born have 18% lower risk of developing limitation before age 18 and 37% higher risk of developing a functional limitation after age 50 than developing a functional limitation between ages 18 and 49.The results point to the importance of selective in- and out-migration for understanding the causes of health disparities in functional limitations by nativity in midlife and older ages.

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 Presented in Session 81. Aging in the United States: Minorities and Other Vulnerable Populations