Differences in healthy life expectancy between older migrants and non-migrants in three European countries over time
In a newly published article in International Journal of Public health, Matias Reus-Pons and colleagues analysed differences in healthy life expectancy at age 50 (HLE50) between migrants and non-migrants in Belgium, the Netherlands, and England and Wales, and their trends over time between 2001 and 2011 in the latter two countries.
Objective We analysed differences in healthy life expectancy at age 50 (HLE50) between migrants and non-migrants in Belgium , the Netherlands, and England and Wales, and their trends over time between 2001 and 2011 in the latter two countries.
Methods Population, mortality and health data were derived from registers, census or surveys. HLE50 and the share of remaining healthy life years were calculated for non-migrants, western and non-western migrants by sex. We applied decomposition techniques to answer whether differences in HLE50 between origin groups and changes in HLE50 over time were attributable to either differences in mortality or health.
Results In all three countries, older (non-western) migrants could expect to live less years in good health than older non-migrants. Differences in HLE50 between migrants and non-migrants diminished over time in the Netherlands, but they increased in England and Wales. General health, rather than mortality, mainly explained (trends in) inequalities in healthy life expectancy between migrants and non-migrants.
Conclusions Interventions aimed at reducing the health and mortality inequalities between older migrants and non-migrants should focus on prevention, and target especially non-western migrants.
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