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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


AERNY PERRETEN, Nicole et al. Health and its determinants in the immigrant population of the region of Madrid. Gac Sanit [online]. 2010, vol.24, n.2, pp.136-144. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: To describe health status and its determinants in immigrants living in the region of Madrid and to compare these factors with those in the native-born population. Material and methods: We performed a descriptive, cross-sectional study based on data from the Madrid Regional Health Survey 2007 (n=12,190). Subjects were classified as native-born or immigrants born in medium-to-low-income countries and with less or more than 5 years of residence in Spain. The results were adjusted for age. Proportions and means were compared through the ji square test and linear regression. Results: Compared with native-born residents, immigrants were younger, carried out mainly precarious manual jobs that did not match their educational level and had a lower income and less space in their dwellings. Both immigrant men and women smoked and drank less, but women showed a higher prevalence of overweight (10% more) and physical inactivity. Adherence to smear test and blood pressure screening was up to a 16% lower. Attendance at primary care and emergency facilities was less frequent in men and women with less residence time than in those with longer residence in Spain. Self-perceived health and mental health were worse in women with 5 or more years of residence. Chronic diseases were similar in both populations but were less prevalent in immigrants. Conclusions: Immigrants' health status is not as unfavorable as could be expected from the higher prevalence of harmful determinants of health.

Keywords : Immigrants; Health surveys; Health status disparities.

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