Is Living in the United States Bad for Your Health?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

America can be the land of opportunity—and a source of diminished health.


New studies show that the longer immigrants live in the United States, the more health problems they develop. These include increases in rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.


Among Hispanics, those born outside the U.S., but who immigrated here, live about three years longer than native-born Hispanics.


“There’s something about life in the United States that is not conducive to good health across generations,” Robert A. Hummer, a social demographer at the University of Texas at Austin, told The New York Times.


What seems to happen is that immigrants, as they settle into their new American lives, adopt the unhealthy habits of those already here—smoking, drinking, eating fast food, and not exercising.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

The Health Toll of Immigration (by Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times)

Health, Life Expectancy, and Mortality Patterns Among Immigrant Populations in the United States (by Gopal K. Singh and Barry A. Miller, Canadian Journal of Public Health)

Moving to the United States Can be Dangerous to Children’s Health (by Missy Guerrero, AllGov)


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