by JEN’NAN GHAZAL READ and MEGAN M. REYNOLDS for JOURNAL OF HEALTH AND BEHAVIOR (MARCH 2012 ISSUE) online on FEBRUARY 16, 2012:  

Abstract: 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

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