Addressing the Etiology of Health Disparities and Health Advantages Among Immigrant Populations (R01/R21)
The Immigrant Health Initiative was established to support research into the risk/protective factors and challenges affecting the health of U.S. immigrant populations as a result of the immigration experience and to promote health equity. Some diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and some types of cancers, are more prevalent among some immigrants and not in others than the general U.S.-born population. Risk and protective factors for disease differ within and across immigrant populations at least in part due to the immigration experience. This initiative supports multidisciplinary research to delineate specific underlying processes resulting from immigration that result in health disparities among immigrant populations, including migrant workers, recent immigrants, and first-generation immigrants.
The complex immigration experience may result in limited English proficiency and low health literacy contributing to barriers to accessing health care and effective patient-provider communication. Lack of health insurance as well as maintenance of traditional health practices, acting alone or in concert with many other factors across multiple levels and domains of influence throughout the life course to contribute to health disparities in immigrant sub- populations. Research is needed to understand the interplay of factors that cause health disparities among underserved immigrant populations and the mechanisms through which those factors operate.