Health Status of Mexican-Origin Persons: Do Proxy Measures of Acculturation Advance our Understanding of Health Disparities?

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



This paper compares select health status indicators between the U.S. and Mexico, and within the Mexican-origin population using proxy measures of acculturation.


Statistical data were abstracted and a Medline literature review conducted of English-language epidemiologic articles on Mexican-origin groups published during 1976–2005.


U.S.-born Mexican-Americans have higher morbidity and mortality compared to Mexico-born immigrants. Mexico has lower healthcare resources, life expectancy, and circulatory system and cancer mortality rates, but similar infant immunization rates compared to the U.S. Along the U.S.-Mexico border, the population on the U.S. side has better health status than the Mexican side. The longer in the U.S., the more likely Mexican-born immigrants engage in behaviors that are not health promoting.


Researchers should consider SEP, community norms, behavioral risk and protective factors when studying Mexican-origin groups. It is not spendingtime in the U.S. that worsens health outcomes but rather changes in health promoting behaviors.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles