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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


MARTIN, Unai; MALMUSI, Davide; BACIGALUPE, Amaia  and  ESNAOLA, Santiago. Internal migration in Spain in the 20th century: a new focus for the study of social inequalities in health. Gac Sanit [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.1, pp.9-15. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: Catalonia and the Basque Country received substantial immigration quotas from the rest of Spain during the twentieth century. This study aimed to analyze inequalities in health by birthplace (the population born in the same region or other autonomous regions) in these two geographical areas. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in the non-institutionalized population aged 50 to 79 years, with data from the health surveys of Catalonia 2006 (n=5,483) and the Basque Country 2007 (n=3,424). We used log-binomial models to estimate the prevalence ratios (PR) of poor self-rated health by birthplace, stratified by sex and social class, and successively adjusted for age, social class and educational attainment. Results: Immigrants from other autonomous regions had poorer self-rated health than the native-born population, both in the Basque Country (age-adjusted PR in men 1.30, 95% CI 1.11-1.54; women 1.42, 95% CI 1.25-1.62,) and in Catalonia (PR in men 1.41, 95% CI 1.26-1.62; PR in women 1.25, 95% CI 1.16-1.35). PRs were reduced but remained significant after adjustment for social class and educational attainment and stratification by manual or non-manual social class. Conclusions: In both communities there are health inequalities that are detrimental to the immigrant population from the rest of Spain, which constitutes approximately half of the population in the studied age cohorts. Future studies should explore the persistence of these inequalities in other health indicators and their reproduction in second generations, and identify entry points for preventive policies.

Keywords : Inequality; Health status; Immigration; Socioeconomic factors; Spain.

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