Objectives: We investigated the patterns of foreign-born Hispanic health convergence to U.S.-born Hispanics using an allostatic load index, a subjective biological risk health profile, and we explored whether the health convergence patterns differ by sex. Methods: The analytic sample consisted of 3,347 Hispanics from the pooled 2005–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We used negative binomial regression models to investigate the association between duration in the United States and the allostatic load index, while controlling for potential covariates. Results: Foreign-born Hispanics who had lived in the United States for 0–9 years and 10–19 years had lower levels of allostatic load than U.S.-born Hispanics; however, those who had lived in the United States for 20 or more years had a level of allostatic load similar to their U.S.-born counterparts. The pattern of immigrant health convergence shows a clear sex difference. In the sex-stratified models, we found that foreign-born Hispanic men converged to the level of allostatic load of U.S.-born Hispanic men after having lived in the United States for approximately 10 years. The health convergence pattern qualitatively differed for foreign-born Hispanic women, who remained healthier than U.S.-born Hispanic women regardless of duration in the United States. Conclusions: Foreign-born Hispanics are healthier than their U.S.-born counterparts, providing support for the healthy migrant hypothesis. This relatively better health of foreign-born Hispanics disappears with a longer duration in the United States, providing support for the health convergence hypothesis, but is most noticeable for men. Foreign-born Hispanic women converge to U.S.-born Hispanic women's health status at a slower tempo, compared with foreign-born Hispanic men.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Maternity and Midwifery