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Edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg

Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg present the cutting edge of research covering the ever-expanding social capital field. With excellent contributions from leading academics, the Elgar Companion to Social Capital and Health offers a developed examination of new research across sociology, epidemiology, economics, psychology, and political science.
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Edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg

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K. Bruce Newbold

Physical and mental health variations are examined based on information in three Canadian data sources: the Canadian Community Health Survey, the National Population Health Survey, and the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada. From the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, immigrants who arrived around the start of this period show an increasing trend in self-declared ‘fair or poor health’. A similar trend is observed among the Canadian-born and the total foreign- born population, but the migrant cohort of the mid-1990s had reduced proportions of respondents in fair or poor health. This suggests that while immigrants enjoy an initial health advantage early in their settlement experience, their advantage diminishes with time and increasingly approximates the overall health profile of the general population. Even though new immigrants are less likely to report having a chronic condition, the proportions with these types of health ailments rise notably over time.

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Frank Trovato

A number of explanations have been advanced in the migrant studies literature concerning health and mortality variations among migrant populations in western countries. Notwithstanding the explosive growth of the literature, an overarching theory currently does not seem possible. Therefore, it may be fruitful in the meantime to rely on the use of organizing frameworks suitable to a particular study setting to guide empirical investigations. A heuristic framework is proposed. The framework builds on the existing literature and can accommodate varied types of analyses.

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Preface

International Perspectives

Edited by Frank Trovato

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Gopal K. Singh and Lihua Liu

Mortality and life expectancy trends and differentials among immigrants and the US-born population are studied based on death certificate and population data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) and decennial censuses, as well as prospective data from the National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS). Survival regression models, age-specific and age-adjusted death rates, and standard life table methodology are used to analyze the nativity/immigrant differentials. Variations are also examined with respect to nativity discrepancies in health status, chronic disease morbidity, disability, injuries, mental health, health-risk behaviors such as obesity, physical inactivity, diet, smoking, alcohol use, and hypertension, health-care access and use. In the final section of this chapter the authors provide a brief but insightful overview of refugee health in the United States.

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Patrick Brzoska and Oliver Razum

The authors review the health situation of immigrants in Germany. They also describe the limitations of the existing evidence. Aside from a lower socioeconomic status, immigrants encounter barriers in health care that limit their access to health services and that may also affect health-care quality and outcomes. Based on the evidence assembled, it is not say definitively whether immigrants have a higher or lower mortality than non-immigrants because the evidence is often contradictory and limited. Nonetheless, computed standardized death rates do for the most part suggest an immigrant mortality advantage. Concerning morbidity, immigrants appear to have a higher incidence of certain infectious diseases and a higher prevalence of some chronic conditions. This situation is attributed to unfavorable social determinants in the immigrant population as well as access barriers to, and a limited effectiveness of, health services to migrants.

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Patrick Deboosere and Hadewijch Vandenheede

A comprehensive overview and analysis of mortality and health patterns and differentials of immigrants and their descendants in Belgium is conducted. Belgium is a diverse population consisting of many nationalities with long migration histories to this country. The authors distinguish between two clearly defined groups in the Belgian population: the migrants by country of origin, and their children born in Belgium by country of origin of the parents, regardless of the nationality at birth or the nationality acquired. The findings based on this analysis suggest that the general pattern of mortality by age and by cause of death strongly underscores the need to move behind mono-causal explanations of differentials in mortality by migrant population, ethnic background or nationality of origin. There does not seem to be a single factor that explains a migrant or ethnic mortality advantage in Belgium. Notwithstanding the migrant health effect, many factors contribute over the life course to the final result in life expectancy, sometimes in a positive, sometimes in a negative direction.

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Matthew Wallace

Mortality differences among immigrants and their descendants in England and Wales are studied. The analysis involves an assessment of the hypothesis that data errors, particularly under-registration of migrant deaths, lies at the root of the immigrant mortality advantage. Test results suggest that the healthy migrant effect cannot be explained away by data errors, nor does the ‘salmon bias’ effect (that is, return selectivity) account for this mortality differential. The author discusses the accelerated health transition thesis in connection with immigrants from developing countries. Mortality variations by cause of death in first generation migrants and their second generation and beyond descendants are also explored. It is concluded that low mortality among migrants is mainly driven by low cancer mortality, and in some groups low cardiovascular disease mortality. The descendants of immigrants are not observed to share a mortality advantage.

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Migration, Health and Survival

International Perspectives

Edited by Frank Trovato

Publications in this field have, in general, been based predominantly on the experiences of individual national settings. Migration, Health and Survival offers a comparative approach, bringing together leading international scholars to provide original works from the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, England and Wales, Norway, Belgium and Italy.