Heterogeneous patterns of health status among immigrants in Spain

Nazmy Villarroel Williams, Lucía Artazcoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: (1) To analyse differences in the self-perceived health and mental health status between the Spanish population and immigrants from the seven leading countries in terms of number of immigrants; (2) to examine whether differences are accounted for by socio-economic characteristics, and (3) to determine whether the patterns of associations differ by gender.

METHODS: Data come from the 2006 Spanish National Health Survey. The sample was composed of all 20-64 year old Spaniards and immigrants from the seven countries with most immigrants in Spain (Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Romania and Morocco) [n=20,731].

RESULTS: In both sexes, people from Bolivia had poorer health outcomes, above all Bolivian males. Conversely, people from Argentina and Colombia had the best health outcomes. For the rest of the countries varied results depending on gender, country and health indicator were found.

CONCLUSIONS: Differences in health status between people born in Spain and foreign-born people depend on relationships between country of birth, characteristics of the migration process, gender, ethnicity and the health outcome analyzed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1282-91
Number of pages10
JournalHealth & Place
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2012


  • Adult
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Colombia
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ecuador
  • Emigrants and Immigrants
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morocco
  • Peru
  • Romania
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spain
  • Young Adult

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