Gender Differences in Middle Eastern Immigrant Health

Megan Reynolds, Duke University

Community-based studies of Middle Easterners point to significant health problems among immigrants, a finding that runs contrary to theories of immigrant selectivity. Whether or how these patterns vary for immigrant men and women has received much less attention, suggesting that the theories and concepts historically used to explain the health of immigrant men (e.g. selectivity, health behaviors) may be less useful for understanding the health profiles and trajectories of immigrant women. Using new questions that identify region of birth in the 2000 through 2007 National Health Interview Surveys, we first compare the self-rated health and activity limitation of Middle Eastern immigrant men and women to U.S.-born white Americans to serve as a baseline. We then examine differences between immigrant men and women and test the extent to which social, demographic and immigrant characteristics account for observed disparities. We conclude by suggesting avenues of future research.

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Presented in Session 64: Arabs Here and Abroad