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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    CDC says immigrants healthier than natives

    http://www.ajc.com

    CDC says immigrants healthier than natives
    M.A.J. McKenna - Staff
    Thursday, March 2, 2006

    Immigrants to the United States are healthier than residents born in this country --- less likely to smoke, to be obese, or to have diabetes or heart disease --- despite less access to medical care, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    But the economic opportunities offered by immigration come at a cost: The longer immigrants live in the United States --- and adopt American eating and exercise patterns --- the unhealthier they become.

    The new study by the National Center for Health Statistics, which uses interviews from 1998 and 2003 from 225,429 households nationwide, is released just as controversies over immigration top the agenda in Congress and state legislatures, including Georgia.

    Contrary to popular impressions, it finds that immigrants to the United States --- who numbered 32.5 million in 2002, making up 11.5 percent of the population --- use less health care than native-born Americans, and have less reason to.

    Immigrants to the United States, the fastest growing segment of the population, largely come from within this hemisphere, according to the study: 52 percent are from Central and South America and the Caribbean, 25 percent are from Asia, 14 percent are from Europe and the remaining 8 percent are from a variety of areas.

    Overwhelmingly, the study found, those immigrants have lower rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure; have less disability; and are less likely to acknowledge having mental health problems.

    Congress and state legislatures have focused on claims that caring for immigrants drains U.S. health care. But according to the survey, though immigrants are less likely than native-born U.S. residents to have private health insurance, they are also less likely to seek help from medical professionals, said study author Achintya Dey, a sociologist.

    "There is a phenomenon called the 'healthy immigrant' effect; healthy people tend to be the ones who migrate," said Dey, a native of India who arrived in the United States 20 years ago as a toddler. "But over time they adopt the lifestyle and food habits of this country, getting less exercise and eating more fast food."

    That trend is captured in a second analysis within the study comparing the health of immigrants who arrived in the United States less than five years ago with those who have been here longer.

    Physically and mentally, long-term immigrants look less like their countrymen and more like native-born Americans, the study found.

    Sixteen percent of recently arrived Hispanics are obese, compared to 22 percent of those in the country five years or longer and 29.8 percent of those of Hispanic heritage who were born in the United States.

    Three percent of newly arrived Asians have cardiovascular disease, compared with 4.6 percent among those here for five years and 6.6 percent of those born in this country.

    And blacks, who experience high rates of chronic disease when born in the United States, repeat that pattern as immigrants: Almost 24 percent of black immigrant arrivals have high blood pressure, a rate that rises to 27.4 percent among five-year residents. The rate among African-Americans is even higher at 34.7 percent.

    The CDC study, based on telephone surveys, does not suggest why immigrants' health declines so rapidly.

    But the causes are evident daily in the North DeKalb Health Center, one of four neighborhood centers run by Grady Health System of Emory University.

    "Some of our patients, when they arrive, take jobs that are very active --- landscaping, construction --- but many become cabdrivers or work in service jobs, so they don't get much exercise," said Dr. Hogai Nassery, who practices at the center and directs Emory's division of community medicine at Grady. "And some work two jobs, so they are not home much, and they tend to eat a lot of fast food."

    The decline in healthy habits holds true no matter what economic niche the immigrants occupied in their home countries, said Nassery, whose father moved his family from Afghanistan to Georgia for medical training when she was 5.

    "I have a patient from Kenya; at home he ran every day, but here he works as a cabdriver, his job has late hours, and then he goes home and goes to bed," she said. "Most people tend to adopt the habits that go with our lifestyle here. We work all the time, we drive from place to place, and we eat fast food."

    DALE E. DODSON / Staff
    PICTURES OF HEALTH
    According to the CDC, immigrants have lower rates of chronic disease and selected risk factors . . .
    .......................U.S. natives..Immigrants*
    Obesity....................23% ..........16%
    Current smoking............24% ..........14%
    Diabetes....................6%............6%
    Hypertension ..............24% ..........20%
    Cardiovascular disease......8%............6%
    . . . even though they have less access to health care.
    Have private health
    insurance..................74% ..........53%
    Have a usual place
    to go for medical care ....88% ..........76%
    Have not seen a doctor
    in past 12 months..........18% ..........29%
    *Immigrants to the United States are: 52 percent from Latin America and the Caribbean, 25 percent Asian, 14 percent European and 8 percent other. Numbers do not add up to 100 percent because of rounding.
    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JuniusJnr's Avatar
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    I have a patient from Kenya; at home he ran every day, but here he works as a cabdriver, his job has late hours, and then he goes home and goes to bed," she said. "Most people tend to adopt the habits that go with our lifestyle here. We work all the time, we drive from place to place, and we eat fast food
    Heaven forbid that we should corrupt these fine healthy people with our wicked American ways. By all means, round 'em up and send 'em home.
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  3. #3
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    Makes you wonder why the CDC would put out a piece like this and completely fail to mention all of the diseases that illegal immigrants are bringing into America since they are not screened for these diseases as LEGAL immigrants are.

    W
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  4. #4
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    The longer immigrants live in the United States --- and adopt American eating and exercise patterns --- the unhealthier they become.
    Calling all illegals. Get out while the gettin's good! You don't want to end up like us fat, sickly, lazy Americans do you?
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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    BlueHills's Avatar
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    I would think immigrants as a group would tend to be younger than the native-born as a group. The story didn't mention adjusting for age, so they may be comparing one group with a mean age of twenty something with another group with a mean age of forty something and that would account for much of the difference in health care consumed. Could this piece be a little deceptive for PR reasons?

    The native-born smoking, over-eating, and lack of exercise which are all signs of depression and/or stress could be caused in part by the native-born being forced to endure job loss, lower wages, and higher prices while watching their country and land being inundated with immigrants. The future doesn't look too bright for them and probably most of them aren't so dumb that they don't realize that even if they can't say it. I bet the CDC could find a correlation there if they looked. At least it's a big reason for my 2 packs of cigarettes a day.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueHills
    At least it's a big reason for my 2 packs of cigarettes a day.
    I feel your pain BlueHills.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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