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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


RODRIGUEZ ALVAREZ, Elena et al. Immigration and health: social inequalities between native and immigrant populations in the Basque Country (Spain). Gac Sanit [online]. 2014, vol.28, n.4, pp.274-280. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To analyze health inequalities between native and immigrant populations in the Basque Country (Spain) and the role of several mediating determinants in explaining these differences. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in the population aged 18 to 64 years in the Basque Country. We used data from the Basque Health Survey 2007 (n = 4,270) and the Basque Health Survey for Immigrants 2009 (n = 745). We calculated differences in health inequalities in poor perceived health between the native population and immigrant populations from distinct regions (China, Latin America, the Maghreb and Senegal). To measure the association between poor perceived health and place of origin, and to adjust this association by several mediating variables, odds ratios (OR) were calculated through logistic regression models. Results: Immigrants had poorer perceived health than natives in the Basque Country, regardless of age. These differences could be explained by the lower educational level, worse employment status, lower social support, and perceived discrimination among immigrants, both in men and women. After adjustment was performed for all the variables, health status was better among men from China (OR: 0.18; 95% confidence interval [CI95%]: 0.04-0.91) and Maghreb (OR: 0.26; 95% CI: 0.08-0.91) and among Latin American women (OR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.14-0.92) than in the native population. Conclusions: These results show the need to continue to monitor social and health inequalities between the native and immigrant populations, as well as to support the policies that improve the socioeconomic conditions of immigrants.

Keywords : Immigration; Social inequalities in health; Discrimination.

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