Fears Over Lower Life Expectancy Rates of US Immigrants

One of the driving factors of immigration is a desire for parents to provide their children with a better life and with better outcomes. But disturbing evidence is emerging that the offspring of immigrants to the UK are actually suffering poorer health than their parents.

The results of several studies have revealed that the life expectancy of immigrants and their children, in the main US born, shows disturbing discrepancies. Instead of those children enjoying better health and fewer diseases than their parents, the studies show that the youngsters have higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Hispanics the biggest immigrant group in the US, are the most affected by this alarming trend. In this immigrant community, those born outwith the US live an average of three years longer than Hispanics born in the US.

The research carried out to date has been unable to pinpoint one single cause for the difference in life expectancy but it has been suggested that the more sedentary lifestyle led by Americans, along with a focus on unhealthy eating and drinking, wipes out any advantages brought by the better standards of living and higher wages to be found across the US.

In the Hispanic community, smoking rates are also very high and experts say this also plays a significant role in reducing life expectancy rates among younger people. And the socioeconomic status of many Hispanics is also considered to be relevant with US-born Hispanics earning low incomes but smoking and drinking more than their parents.

Other health factors known to be particularly problematic among Hispanics are cancer mortality rates, obesity and diabetes. The lower life expectancy rates for immigrants has been described as a “timebomb” waiting to go off by medics.

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