Volume 35 - Article 51 | Pages 1523–1536  

Age at migration and disability-free life expectancy among the elder Mexican-origin population

By Marc A. Garcia, Chi-Tsun Chiu


Background: Migration selectivity is thought to shape the health profiles of Mexican immigrants.

Objective: This study examines how the experience of Mexican migration to the United States affects the health process and the quality of life in old age by age at migration, specific to sex.

Methods: We use 20 years of data from the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly to estimate the proportion of life spent disability-free prior to death across eight subgroups by sex, nativity, and age at migration among Mexican-origin elderly in the United States.

Results: Female migrants are at a significant disadvantage in terms of IADL disability-free life expectancy relative to US-born women, particularly late-life migrants. Conversely, mid- and late-life male migrants exhibit an advantage in ADL disability-free life expectancy compared to their US-born counterparts.

Conclusions: Foreign-born Mexican elders are not a homogeneous group. This issue merits special attention in the development of community-based long-term care programs in order to appropriately target the specific needs of different subgroups of older Mexican individuals entering their last decades of life.

Contribution: This study contributes to immigrant health literature by providing a more comprehensive documentation of nativity differentials, by distinguishing subgroups of Mexican elderly by sex, nativity, and age at migration.

Author's Affiliation

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

The importance of education for understanding variability of dementia onset in the United States
Volume 50 - Article 26

Sociocultural variability in the Latino population: Age patterns and differences in morbidity among older US adults
Volume 38 - Article 52

The role of education in the association between race/ethnicity/nativity, cognitive impairment, and dementia among older adults in the United States
Volume 38 - Article 6

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

Uncovering disability-free grandparenthood in Italy between 1998 and 2016 using gender-specific decomposition
Volume 50 - Article 42    | Keywords: aging, decomposition, disability, grandparenthood, Italy

Gender and educational inequalities in disability-free life expectancy among older adults living in Italian regions
Volume 47 - Article 29    | Keywords: disability, gender, health, inequalities, Italy, mortality, older adults, regions

National estimates of kinship size and composition among adults with activity limitations in the United States
Volume 45 - Article 36    | Keywords: caregiving, disability, family, kinship

An extended evaluation of the weathering hypothesis for birthweight
Volume 43 - Article 31    | Keywords: birth weight, fertility, maternal age, nativity, race/ethnicity, weathering

Disability crossover: Is there a Hispanic immigrant health advantage that reverses from working to old age?
Volume 39 - Article 7    | Keywords: crossover, disability, health, Hispanic, immigrants, United States of America