Assuring the Health of Immigrants

What the Leading Health Indicators Tell Us

Published in: Annual Review of Public Health, v. 25, Apr. 21, April 2004, p. 357-376

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2004

by Namratha R. Kandula, Margaret Kersey, Nicole Lurie

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Over the past 20 years, the United States has experienced one of the largest waves of immigration in its history. Understanding the health status and needs of immigrants is important because of their growing numbers and their contribution to the health of the nation, but it is challenging because of gaps in national databases, the heterogeneity of immigrant populations, and uncertainty about how migration affects health. Healthy People 2010 outlines the nation's public health objectives for the current decade. It includes ten leading health indicators (LHIs) chosen because of their importance as public health issues, their ability to motivate action, and the availability of data to measure their progress. In this paper, the authors discuss the health of immigrants from the perspective of these LHIs, as they provide a framework for anticipating some of the future health needs of immigrants and help define priority areas for research and action.

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