Explaining the Hispanic paradox in the United States using biomarkers for Mexicans in the United States and Mexico

Eileen Crimmins, University of Southern California
Beth Soldo, University of Pennsylvania
Jung Ki Kim, University of Southern California

Biomarkers can be used to disentangle the processes leading to the Hispanic Paradox in the United States. The Hispanic population in the U.S., a highly immigrant population, has better than expected health given its relatively low socioeconomic status. This paradox raises general questions about the effects of migration on the health of populations in both sending and receiving areas. Using biomarker information from national samples of both Mexicans (The Mexican Health and Aging Survey) and Americans 50 years of age and over (the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), we examine health differences for native-born and foreign-born Mexicans in the United States and for Mexicans who do not migrate and Mexicans who return to Mexico from the United States. Health differences include anthropometric measures reflecting childhood circumstances, blood pressure, current height and weight, lung function, and grip strength.

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Presented in Session 112: Biomarkers, health and demographic research