A new research review has suggested that international migrants who come to high income countries to work, study or join families are less likely to die prematurely than people born in their new homelands, according to a report from Reuters.
“Migrants to rich countries have lower rates of death due to most major disease areas compared to the general population,” said lead study author Robert Aldridge of University College London.
“We know from UN data that the majority of migrants to these rich countries tend to be moving for work or study,” Aldridge said by email to the news agency.
The analysis looked at data from 96 different studies, with mortality estimates for more than 15.2 million international migrants in 92 countries examined.
It was found that these migrants were about 30 percent less likely to die prematurely than others in the general populations of the countries they moved to, according to the analysis.
Infectious disease and external causes like homicide were found to be the most common causes of death for migrants according to the analysis.
Many of the more common chronic diseases that may lead to death including heart disease, cancer, digestive disorders, endocrine or circulatory problems and other issues were found to be less likely to effect immigrants, the Reuters report said.
These effects were felt relatively equally among the sexes as male immigrants were 28 percent less likely to die prematurely from all causes than native-born men while female immigrants were 25 percent less likely to die earlier in life.
Those immigrants with chronic or serious health problems were excluded from the study, the article said. Education also played a big role in terms of immigrants’ success, as educated those were well educated were found to have better living or working conditions along with health statuses similar to host populations.
According to Anjali Borhade, director of the Disha Foundation in Gurugram, India, a coauthor of an editorial accompanying the story, poor work conditions may have affected two particular health risks of immigrants: death by infectious disease and homicides.
Young, relatively healthy immigrants are more likely to take low-paying and dangerous jobs and to live in subpar housing conditions, Borhade said.
Migrants tend to be healthier than others to begin with, however, which may allow them to live longer, healthier lives according to the study.
Overall, about 3 percent of the world’s population, nearly 260 million people, live outside of their birth countries, as noted in the medical journal The Lancet.