Gender differences in immigrant health: the case of Mexican and Middle Eastern immigrants.


Journal Article

This article draws on theories of gender inequality and immigrant health to hypothesize differences among the largest immigrant population, Mexicans, and a lesser known population of Middle Easterners. Using data from the 2000-2007 National Health Interview Surveys, we compare health outcomes among immigrants to those among U.S.-born whites and assess gender differences within each group. We find an immigrant story and a gender story. Mexican and Middle Eastern immigrants are healthier than U.S.-born whites, and men report better health than women regardless of nativity or ethnicity. We identify utilization of health care as a primary mechanism that contributes to both patterns. Immigrants are less likely than U.S.-born whites to interact with the health care system, and women are more likely to do so than men. Thus, immigrant and gender health disparities may partly reflect knowledge of health status rather than actual health.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Read, JG; Reynolds, MM

Published Date

  • March 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 53 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 99 - 123

PubMed ID

  • 22343940

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22343940

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2150-6000

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1465

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0022146511431267


  • eng