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06.03.2019 | Original Paper

Mortality Paradox of Older Italian-Born Men in Australia: The Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Fiona F. Stanaway, Fiona M. Blyth, Vasi Naganathan, David G. Le Couteur, Rosilene Ribeiro, Vasant Hirani, Louise M. Waite, David J. Handelsman, Markus J. Seibel, Robert G. Cumming
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10903-019-00874-w) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Italian migrants are one of the largest groups of older migrants in Australia. Past research has found lower mortality rates in Italian migrants but it is unclear if this persists into older age. Data came from 334 Italian-born and 849 Australian-born men aged 70 years and over participating in a longitudinal study of men’s ageing. Male Italian migrants were more likely to smoke, be overweight, and have lower socio-economic status (SES). They also had higher morbidity from diabetes, chronic pain, dementia and depressive symptoms but lower morbidity from heart disease and cancer. There was no age-adjusted mortality difference. However, adjusting for SES, lifestyle and morbidity differences revealed a 25% lower mortality rate (adjusted HR = 0.75; 95% CI 0.57, 0.98) in Italian-born men. Compared to their Australian-born counterparts, older Italian-born men have a lower mortality than expected considering their lower SES, higher smoking and higher morbidity.

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