Survival differences among native-born and foreign-born older adults in the United States.

Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Studies show that the U.S. foreign-born population has lower mortality than the native-born population before age 65. Until recently, the lack of data prohibited reliable comparisons of U.S. mortality by nativity at older ages. This study provides reliable estimates of U.S. foreign-born and native-born mortality at ages 65 and older at the end of the 20(th) century. Life expectancies of the U.S. foreign born are compared to other developed nations and the foreign-born contribution to total life expectancy (TLE) in the United States is assessed. METHODS: Newly available data from Medicare Part B records linked with Social Security Administration files are used to estimate period life tables for nearly all U.S. adults aged 65 and older in 1995. Age-specific survival differences and life expectancies are examined in 1995 by sex, race, and place of birth. RESULTS: Foreign-born men and women had lower mortality at almost every age from 65 to 100 compared to native-born men and women. Survival differences by nativity were substantially greater for blacks than whites. Foreign-born blacks had the longest life expectancy of all population groups (18.73 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 18.15-19.30] years at age 65 for men and 22.76 [95% CI, 22.28-23.23] years at age 65 for women). The foreign-born population increased TLE in the United States at older ages, and by international comparison, the U.S. foreign born were among the longest-lived persons in the world. CONCLUSION: Survival estimates based on reliable Medicare data confirm that foreign-born adults have longer life expectancy at older ages than native-born adults in the United States.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dupre, ME; Gu, D; Vaupel, JW

Published Date

  • 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 / 5

Start / End Page

  • e37177 -

PubMed ID

  • 22615929

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0037177

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States