Healthy ageing in a comparative perspective: A study of the health of older migrants and non-migrants across Europe

Reus Pons, M., 2018, [Groningen]: University of Groningen. 188 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)Academic

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  • Matias Reus Pons
European societies are becoming older and more culturally diverse. Although relatively little attention has been paid to the health of older migrants in Europe, serious concerns exist whether migrants in Europe are ageing as healthily as non-migrants, because migrants face additional challenges before, during, and after migration.

This PhD thesis provides crucial new knowledge on the health of older migrants and non-migrants in Europe. Specifically, the study analyses whether differences in health and mortality exist between migrants and non-migrants aged 50 and older living in southern and north-western Europe, and how these differences can be explained.

The results show that, regardless of whether older migrants live longer than older non-migrants or not, they tend to live in poorer overall, physical, and mental health conditions. The health situation of non-western migrants is particularly precarious. Furthermore, migrants are also at a higher risk of experiencing deterioration in health. Having lower levels of education, being unemployed or economically inactive, smoking, being overweight or obese, and not exercising frequently partially explain inequalities in health outcomes and transitions between older migrants and non-migrants. Migrant health inequalities are furthermore stronger in countries with less favourable public attitudes towards migration and migrants.

In general, the results of this study raise concerns whether current healthy ageing policies are adequately targeting the migrant population. Culturally tailored interventions to address socio-economic inequalities and health-damaging behaviours, and actions to promote more favourable public attitudes towards migrants are necessary to achieve an overall healthier population.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Valk, de, Helga, Supervisor
  • Janssen, Fanny, Supervisor
  • Vandenheede, Hadewijch, Supervisor, External person
  • Kibele, Eva, Co-supervisor
  • Reineveld, M., Assessment committee, External person
  • Deboosere, P., Assessment committee, External person
  • Bracke, P., Assessment committee, External person
  • Solé Auró, A., Assessment committee, External person
Award date30-Apr-2018
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-0586-5
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0585-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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