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Impacts of rural to urban migration on the health of working-age adult migrants in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Mark VanLandingham, Tulane University

A multidimensional health assessment instrument, the SF-36, is employed in this paper to systematically investigate the potential health impacts of rural-to-urban migration. The paper compares eight dimensions of health status for 69 recent migrants living in Ho Chi Minh City with 85 long term urban residents in the city using data collected during 2001. As expected, recent migrants are disadvantaged with respect to longer-term residents on six of the eight dimensions of health status, including physical functioning; role limitations due to physical health problems; bodily pain; general mental health; role limitations due to emotional problems; and general health perceptions. These differences are maintained in models that control for differences in distributions of age, sex, marital status, and socioeconomic status between the two groups. While rural to urban migration often results in substantial economic benefits to those remaining in the sending areas, important health disadvantages accrue to the migrants themselves.

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Presented in Session 61: Migration and health (2)