Monday, May 24, 2010

America needs a warning label: "Hazardous to your health"

The May/June 2010 issue of the American Psychologist has an article on the problem of immigrant acculturation.  One section focuses on the "immigration paradox." This refers to the fact that the more an immigrant is assimilated, the greater the risk of bad health outcomes. This is the case for psychiatric disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, bad eating habits, obesity, diabetes--just about anything you want to examine. It's such a big problem, it gets it's own name (that's Immigrant Paradox, in case you missed it).  

But for some reason, among the list of policy recommendations, I can't see the obvious suggestion that we discourage folks from moving to unhealthy America, and that we encourage them to return home if they're already here.    

3 comments:

Jason Malloy said...

I think you are misunderstanding the paradox. The immigrants are healthier in America than they are in their native countries. They just get less healthy as they assimilate.

Jason Malloy said...

That is even after assimilating they are still healthier than they would be in their native countries. The health hierarchy would go:

* Mexicans in America (Mexico-born)

* Mexicans in America (US-born)

* Mexicans in Mexico

teacher.paris said...

http://lung-cancer.emedtv.com/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-statistics.html

Age at Diagnosis
From 1998 to 2003, the median age at lung cancer diagnosis was 70 years of age. The percentages of people diagnosed with lung cancer based on age were as follows:

•0.0 percent were diagnosed under age 20
•0.3 percent between 20 and 34
•2.1 percent between 35 and 44
•8.8 percent between 45 and 54
•21.1 percent between 55 and 64
•32.6 percent between 65 and 74
•28.2 percent between 75 and 84
•6.9 percent 85+ years of age.


http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_4_1x_what_are_the_key_statistics_about_lung_cancer_15.asp

Lung cancer mainly occurs in older people. About 2 out of 3 people diagnosed with lung cancer are older than 65; fewer than 3% of all cases are found in people younger than 45. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 71. Lung cancer mainly occurs in older people. About 2 out of 3 people diagnosed with lung cancer are older than 65; fewer than 3% of all cases are found in people younger than 45. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 71.

http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/lung/riskfactors/index.htm

A lifelong male smoker has a cumulative risk of 15.9% for developing lung cancer by age 75.

No kidding. The older you are, the more likely it is that you will die of something.