Health, chronic conditions, and behavioral risk disparities among U.S. Immigrant children and adolescents.
We examined differentials in the prevalence of 23 parent-reported health, chronic condition, and behavioral indicators among 91,532 children of immigrant and U.S.-born parents.
We used the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health to estimate health differentials among 10 ethnic-nativity groups. Logistic regression yielded adjusted differentials.
Immigrant children in each racial/ethnic group had a lower prevalence of depression and behavioral problems than native-born children.
The prevalence of autism varied from 0.3% among immigrant Asian children to 1.3%-1.4% among native-born non-Hispanic white and Hispanic children.
Immigrant children had a lower prevalence of asthma, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; developmental delay; learning disability; speech, hearing, and sleep problems; school absence; and ≥1 chronic condition than native-born children, with health risks increasing markedly in relation to mother’s duration of residence in the U.S.
Immigrant children had a substantially lower exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, with the odds of exposure being 60%-95% lower among immigrant non-Hispanic black, Asian, and Hispanic children compared with native non-Hispanic white children.
Obesity prevalence ranged from 7.7% for native-born Asian children to 24.9%-25.1% for immigrant Hispanic and native-born non-Hispanic black children.
Immigrant children had higher physical inactivity levels than native-born children; however, inactivity rates declined with each successive generation of immigrants.
Immigrant Hispanic children were at increased risk of obesity and sedentary behaviors.
Ethnic-nativity differentials in health and behavioral indicators remained marked after covariate adjustment.
Immigrant patterns in child health and health-risk behaviors vary substantially by ethnicity, generational status, and length of time since immigration. Public health programs must target at-risk children of both immigrant and U.S.-born parents.
Further Readings of Interest
Mental Health of Children in the USA : A Quick Snapshot
American Born Children have significantly Higher Risk of Allergic Disease than Foreign Born Children
Children born outside the United States had significantly lower odds of any atopic disorders than those born in the United States (logistic regression OR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.38-0.61), including
ever-asthma (0.53; 0.39-0.72),
current-asthma (0.34; 0.23-0.51),
eczema (0.43; 0.30-0.61),
hay fever (0.39; 0.27-0.55), and
food allergies (0.60; 0.37-0.99).
The associations between child’s birthplace and atopic disorders remained significant in multivariate models including age, sex, race/ethnicity, annual household income, residence in metropolitan areas, and history of child moving to a new address.
Children born outside the United States whose parents were also born outside the United States had significantly lower odds of any atopic disorders than those whose parents were born in the United States (P = .005).
Children born outside the United States who lived in the United States for longer than 10 years when compared with those who resided for only 0 to 2 years had significantly higher odds of developing any allergic disorders (adjusted OR, 3.04; 95% CI, 1.08-8.60)
including eczema (4.93; 1.18-20.62; P = .03)
hay fever (6.25; 1.70-22.96)
but not asthma or food allergies (P ≥ .06).