Skip to main content

01.12.2019 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Archives of Public Health 1/2019

Counting the non-existing: causes of death of undocumented migrants in Brussels-Capital Region (Belgium), 2005–2010

Archives of Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2019
Dirk Lafaut, Hadewijch Vandenheede, Johan Surkyn, Gily Coene
Wichtige Hinweise

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



So far knowledge about undocumented migrant health status is poor. The objective of this study is to compare patterns in causes of death between undocumented migrants and legal residents, of both migrant and non-migrant origin.


Using cause-of-death data, we compared undocumented migrants with Belgian residents and documented migrants through logistic regression analyses..


This study shows that male undocumented migrants have a significantly higher risk of death from cardiovascular diseases compared to male Belgian residents (OR: 1.37) and documented migrants (OR: 2.17). Male undocumented migrants also have an increased risk of dying from external causes of death compared to documented migrants (OR: 1.93). Furthermore, we found a lower risk of suicidal death in undocumented migrants compared to Belgian residents (OR men: 0.29, OR women: 0.15).


We found important differences in underlying causes of death between undocumented migrants and residents in Belgium. These findings urge us to claim improved healthcare provision for undocumented migrants in Belgium.

Trial registration

Medical ethics committee UZ Jette, Brussels, Belgium – Registration date: 18/05/2016 – Registration number: B.U.N. 143201628279.
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2019

Archives of Public Health 1/2019 Zur Ausgabe