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Household wellbeing and health risks in Mexican households with and without migrants: A cross-sectional analysis

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Abstract

Background: Migration between Mexico and the USA constitutes the world's largest migration corridor with more than 13 million movements of people in 2016. Furthermore, Mexico has a complex migration profile, being a country of origin, transit, destination, and return. While there has been discussion on the relationship between migration and development of origin communities, evidence on social and health issues faced by origin households is limited. This case study is a first attempt at documenting, through analyzing a national representative health survey of Mexican households (n = 9474), the relationship between international migration from Mexico and origin household health characteristics. Case presentation: Mexican international migration moves largely (90% of migrants) toward the USA. Migration has passed from being mostly circular (from the early to late 1990s) to a permanent pattern of residence in the destination country due to changes in migration policies that have progressively restricted the irregular entrance of immigrants making re-entry more difficult. The present case study compares the socioeconomic, demographic, and health characteristics of households in Mexico with and without emigrants using data from a national representative health survey. Accordingly, in 2016, 5.8% (n = 1,802,980) of all Mexican households reported having a member living abroad. Households with members living abroad were found to more likely be headed by a female (45.8%), have Seguro Popular health insurance, and not to be among the poorest household population. In terms of health profile, a higher frequency of adults with a reported diagnosis of diabetes and/or hypertension (33.9 vs 21.7% for households with vs without emigrants, respectively; p = 0.067), and a higher severity of diabetes reflected a higher probability of hospitalization. Conclusions: Results showed that socioeconomic, demographic, and health conditions differed between households with and without emigrants. These differences were determined as not being attributable to migration and cannot be considered as predisposing factors of migration.

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Leyva-Flores, R., Gutierrez, J. P., Infante, C., Gonzalez-Vazquez, T., & Magaña-Valladares, L. (2018). Household wellbeing and health risks in Mexican households with and without migrants: A cross-sectional analysis. Public Health Reviews, 39(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40985-018-0096-5

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