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  • School of Public Health

    AG 8: Demography and health  

    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
    © Universität Bielefeld

Immigrant's health

Immigrant populations are growing throughout the Nordic countries, making understanding their health needs of increasing social importance. Thus, this project explores how contextual factors surrounding migration, e.g. order of arrival in the host country, are related to health.

Migration researchers have observed a paradox whereby immigrants from lower-income countries appear to live longer than native-born persons, often referred to as the “healthy immigrant effect”. However, immigrants are also more likely to report chronic diseases and mental health problems than native populations. One explanation for this finding is that immigrants may be disadvantaged by experiences in their home country and stressors associated with migration.

The analyses of the Nordic register data offer a first exploration into the health correlates of understudied aspects of migration experiences. Our research group also examines whether the stress associated with a major life event, e.g. losing a spouse, may be especially potent for immigrants with fewer resources or with cultural origins that are more distant from cultures prevalent in the host country. The findings will be instructive about whether minority and disadvantaged groups are especially vulnerable to the effects of stressful live events.


  1. Caputo, J., Li, P., Kühn, M., Brønnum-Hansen, H., Oksuzyan, A. The Widowhood Effect on Mortality: A Comparison of Cross-National Immigrants and Native-Born Danes. J Geront Soc Sci Series B 2021; 76(10): 2155–2168. 
  2. Caputo, J., Carollo, A., Mussino, E., Ahrenfeldt, L.J., Lindahl-Jacobsen,R., Drefahl, S., Oksuzyan, A. Gendered Spousal Order of Migration and Hospitalization among Immigrants to Denmark. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 2020: 1-8.
  3. Oksuzyan, A., Mussino, E., Drefahl, S. Gender differences in mortality in migrants and the Swedish-born population: Is there a double survival advantage for immigrant women? International Journal of Public Health 2019; 64: 377–386.
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