As the Latino and Asian immigrant populations in the U.S. continue to grow, researchers are focusing on addressing health inequities among different groups.
Immigration health is a relatively new focus of research for public health experts and their budding interest comes at a time when the prevalence of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure is rising among many immigrants after they arrive in the U.S.
So-called “Super-diversity” may have a lot to do with it.
“Superdiversity might be more like how the type of immigration you get into a country, let’s say Asian, they have a different educational level," explained David Takeuchi, a sociologist at the University of Washington speaking at USC's Immigrant Health Initiative. "So education, as is typical in other samples, education is strongly related to health.”
Takeuchi says places like Los Angeles, with growing and increasingly diverse Latino and Asian immigrant populations, are particularly challenging. Mega-cities show increasing gaps in the health of different immigrant groups and subgroups.
But not all immigrants have poor access to educational opportunities or fewer health care resources. Immigrant health is still widely understudied, and increasingly in need of federal research funding, said Takeuchi.