Probabilities of transition among health states: a comparison between older immigrants and native-born people in Europe

Donatella Lanari, Università di Perugia
Odoardo Bussini, Università di Perugia

We aim to investigate the probabilities of transition among health states for middle-aged and older adults and examine how they vary by age, sex and immigrant status. The longitudinal dimension acquired by the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement (SHARE) allows us to investigate how successful is the immigrants’ aging with respect to natives. We hypothesize that immigrants are more likely to experience a deterioration of health during aging, that is, the probability that a foreign born living in specific countries will move from a “healthy state” to a “sick state” is higher with respect to non-immigrants, especially for older adults. The health measures included self-rated health, depression and ADLs. Preliminary results show that transition probabilities varied by age, gender and immigrant status. In almost all domains of health, the probability that older immigrants’ health status deteriorated was higher with respect to natives, even if results emphasize a large heterogeneity found among immigrants’ groups. The analyses of the changes over time in different aspects of immigrants health status is very interesting for policy makers so that clearly defined public interventions can be adopted to improve their health and planning relevant health services.

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Presented in Session 97: Health and well-being in the ageing process