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Residential mobility among foreign-born persons living in Sweden is associated with lower mortality

Authors Albin, Hjelm K, Ekberg J, Elmståhl S

Published 1 July 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 187—194

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CLEP.S11827

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Björn Albin1,2, Katarina Hjelm1,2, Jan Ekberg3, Sölve Elmståhl4

1School of Health and Caring Sciences, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden; 2Department of Health Sciences, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Lund University, Sweden; 3Centre of Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO), School of Management and Economics, Växjö University, Sweden; 4Department of Health Sciences, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Lund University, Sweden

Abstract: There have been few longitudinal studies on the effect of within-country mobility on patterns of mortality in deceased foreign-born individuals. The results have varied; some studies have found that individuals who move around within the same country have better health status than those who do not change their place of residence. Other studies have shown that changing one’s place of residence leads to more self-reported health problems and diseases. Our aim was to analyze the pattern of mortality in deceased foreign-born persons living in Sweden during the years 1970–1999 in relation to distance mobility. Data from Statistics Sweden and the National Board of Health and Welfare was used, and the study population consisted of 281,412 ­foreign-born persons aged 16 years and over who were registered as living in Sweden in 1970. Distance mobility did not have a negative effect on health. Total mortality was lower (OR 0.71; 95% CI 0.69–0.73) in foreign-born persons in Sweden who had changed their county of residence during the period 1970–1990. Higher death rates were observed, after adjustment for age, in three ICD diagnosis groups “Injury and poisoning”, “External causes of injury and poisoning”, and “Diseases of the digestive system” among persons who had changed county of residence.

Keywords: residential mobility, health, foreign-born, immigrant, Sweden, mortality

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