Health Status Inequality among Immigrants in Switzerland


Objective: To assess self-rated health and impairments for six large immigrant groups (Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Portugal, Serbia, Turkey) in Switzerland. Methods: We used population-based survey data from the Swiss Migrant Health Survey 2010 and the Swiss Health Survey 2007. The sample comprised permanent residents aged 17 - 64 years (n = 14,637). Multivariate logistic regressions have been used to estimate odds ratios (OR). Results: Ill health and activities of daily living (ADL) impairments were associated with older age in all groups. However, nationals from Turkey and nationals from Kosovo were substantially more likely than Swiss to report ill health (OR = 1.05; CI = 1.02 - 1.09; P = 0.001 and OR = 1.05; CI = 1.01 - 1.10; P = 0.016) and ADL impairments (OR = 1.06; CI = 1.03 - 1.09; P = 0.000 and OR = 1.04; CI = 1.01 - 1.07; P = 0.004) with increasing age. Furthermore, Portuguese women were more likely (OR = 2.65; CI = 1.40 - 5.03; P = 0.003) to report ill health than Swiss women. Conclusions: Immigrant-specific preventive and health promotion initiatives should target vulnerable immigrants from Turkey, Portugal, and Kosovo. Furthermore, groups with few economic and psychosocial resources in the general population of Switzerland should be more involved in interventions to reduce health risk.

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Volken, T. and Rüesch, P. (2014) Health Status Inequality among Immigrants in Switzerland. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 459-469. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.46054.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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