Self-Assessed Health and Mortality in Migrant Communities in Belgium

Patrick Deboosere, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Sylvie Gadeyne, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

The aim of this study is to describe the contrasting patterns of mortality and morbidity among migrant communities and to assess the degree to which socioeconomic status accounts for ethnic differentials in health outcomes. The Belgian 2001 census measured self-assessed health by the standard WHO question. The comprehensive character of the census and the link to the population register produce high-quality data that allow control for selection effects and provide follow-up mortality on an individual level. Belgium has a large migrant community, composed of a broad range of nationalities. Previous research, based on the 1991 census and follow-up of mortality and migration in the population register, demonstrated a clear mortality advantage for the adult population of Mediterranean and Islamic origin compared to the Belgian population. This is especially striking regarding their lower socio-economic status. Self assessed health however does not follow the same pattern across nationalities.

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Presented in Session 104: Immigrant Health