Health status of non-Hispanic U.S.-born and foreign-born black and white persons: United States, 1992-95

Jacqueline W Lucas, Daheia J Barr-Anderson, Raynard S Kington
Vital and Health Statistics. Series 10, Data From the National Health Survey 2005, (226): 1-20

OBJECTIVE: This report describes differences in selected sociodemographic and health characteristics of the non-Hispanic U.S. population by race (black and white) and nativity (U.S-born and foreign-born), using data from the 1992-95 National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS).

METHODS: Data were collected for a household, multistage probability sample representative of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. A total of 456,729 persons were included in these analyses for the 4 data years combined. Statistics were age adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population, and unadjusted estimates are also presented for comparison.

RESULTS: Over 87 percent of the foreign-born black population assessed their health as being excellent or very good, significantly higher than U.S.-born black persons (52 percent), and similar to U.S.- and foreign-born white persons (69 percent for each group). Eleven percent of foreign-born black persons were limited in performing some type of activity, compared with 20 percent of their U.S.-born counterparts. Among white persons, 14 percent of foreign-born and 16 percent of U.S.-born individuals were limited in activity. The foreign-born black population, especially women, had the lowest current smoking prevalence of all of the study groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The data show significant differences in health characteristics between groups classified by race and nativity. Information about the nativity status of black and white populations may be useful in public health efforts to eliminate health disparities.

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