The author declares that there are no competing interests.
The main aim of this paper is to see to what extent mortality patterns between migrants living in the Netherlands converge. This might be an indicator of health and health care acculturation.
This is an observational study on the basis of standard mortality registration data collected between 1996 and 2007. Eight ethnic groups living in Amsterdam are examined to see if mortality converges or diverges over time. Trends in mortality are studied using Poisson regression. The life expectancy between groups is compared for three time periods.
The data showed that for males and females the life expectancy and death rates improved between 1996–1999 and 2004–2007. Most ethnic groups, both males and females, followed this positive trend. For most indicators the ethnic groups converged in terms of mortality. The data also shows the healthy migrant effect with those in Amsterdam from Dutch origin having a relatively high mortality and low life expectancy.
In this paper the “healthy migrant effect” can be clearly observed. An important cause is the emigration of the original and relatively affluent and healthy Dutch population to suburban areas. Mortality trends tend to converge between ethnic groups during the period 1997–2000 and 2004–2007. The data presented here shows further that trends in mortality and life expectancy which apply to all ethnic groups are much more powerful as this convergence. One wonders if bridging the mortality gap between groups is of much benefit for minority groups, or that minority groups would benefit more from an overall decrease in mortality.
Mortality trends that apply to all groups tend to be much stronger compared with trends for individual groups. This shows that dynamics affecting all groups similarly have a considerably stronger effect on mortality outcomes in various ethnic groups compared with possible convergence.