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Immigrant Health

August 28, 2007

Mexican immigrants tend to be healthier than Mexican-Americans born in the United States, according to a new study.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Understanding Hispanic health. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Despite being poorer, Mexican immigrants are substantially healthier than Mexican-Americans born in the U.S. This according to University of Southern California demographer Eileen Crimmins and her colleagues. Crimmins says that while immigrants might have better dietary habits, there’s also evidence that immigration tends to attract hardier, more able-bodied people.

EILEEN CRIMMINS (University of Southern California):
And what we think happens with Mexicans who immigrate here, is that the healthy come. And you don’t come if you’re not healthy.

HIRSHON:
Ultimately, Crimmins hopes to understand why Hispanics, in general, appear healthier than expected for their socio-economic status. This study suggests that healthier immigrants may statistically mask the problems of their U.S. born counterparts. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.