Investigating the Refugee Health Disadvantage Among the U.S. Immigrant Population

Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies
Volume 15, Issue 1, 2017

Investigating the Refugee Health Disadvantage Among the U.S. Immigrant Population
Pages 53-70 | Published online: 20 Jun 2016
Holly E. Reed & Guillermo Yrizar Barbosa
Much health-disparities research focuses on race and ethnicity, but nativity has proved to be a crucial factor in explaining the immigrant health advantage. Foreign-born subgroups with certain immigration statuses, such as refugees, may have an initial disadvantage. Using nationally representative survey data, we explore differences in health outcomes by analyzing two visa category subgroups in the United States: refugees and nonrefugee immigrants. Our findings show that refugees have a significant disadvantage across multiple health outcomes. This suggests that current refugee health-screening practices should be changed to take into account broader issues, such as chronic disease and functional limitation.