About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Health Insurance Linked to Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among Aging Immigrants

by Colleen Fleiss on March 26, 2019 at 1:13 AM
Font : A-A+

Health Insurance Linked to Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among Aging Immigrants

Aging immigrants with health insurance are found to be at a lower cardiovascular disease risk, said study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. The findings are published in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship.

"The lack of health insurance coverage we observed among recent immigrants is especially concerning, given that their cardiovascular health is susceptible to deterioration as they adopt American lifestyles."

Advertisement


In the U.S., a growing number of uninsured, older immigrants go to emergency rooms with strokes, heart attacks, and other serious but preventable complications of cardiovascular disease. This may surprise some given prior research on the healthy immigrant effect, which finds that immigrants are initially healthier than native-born Americans. However, this advantage erodes over time as immigrants take on American ways, such as becoming more sedentary and eating less healthfully.

Research also shows that having health insurance increases healthcare utilization. However, immigrants experience barriers to obtaining affordable coverage. In the majority of states, immigrants who meet federal poverty guidelines must wait at least five years to be eligible for Medicaid, a result of welfare reform in the 1990s. In addition, private health insurance plans are costly and may be unaffordable for older immigrants with limited incomes--who, for instance, may be coming to the U.S. to care for their grandchildren.
Advertisement

In this study, the researchers sought to understand the risk for cardiovascular disease among aging immigrants (age 50 and up) and analyzed whether health insurance plays a role in this risk. Using a nationally representative sample from the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2012, they looked at cardiovascular disease risk, health insurance coverage, and factors that may be barriers to healthcare for immigrants. Of the 1,920 aging immigrants studied, the majority (1,607) had been in the U.S. for at least a decade, while the remainder were recent immigrants, having arrived in the U.S. within the past 10 years.

The researchers found that recent immigrants had an overall lower risk for cardiovascular disease than long?term immigrants, which is consistent with prior studies of the healthy immigrant effect, but may also be explained by their slightly younger age. However, despite being younger and healthier, laboratory testing found that recent immigrants had higher plasma glucose levels, total cholesterol, and triglycerides, and lower HDL cholesterol values compared to long?term immigrants, suggesting that they could develop cardiovascular disease and would benefit from screening and preventive care.

In addition, recent immigrants were far more socially disadvantaged than long?term immigrants. More than half of recent immigrants (54 percent) had no health insurance, making them twice as likely to be uninsured than long-term immigrants (22 percent). These figures are a stark contrast to the overall U.S. population: 8.8 percent of the population and roughly 1 percent of people over 65 years are uninsured. Recent immigrants were also more likely to have low incomes, limited English proficiency, and lack routine healthcare.

"All of these factors challenge immigrants' ability to access care at a time when risk factors for cardiovascular disease may emerge," said Sadarangani. "This is compounded by unfamiliar and complex medical systems and fear around the cost of care, which may prevent many from seeking care until a health condition is serious and often more expensive to treat."

A key finding of the study was that being uninsured contributed to cardiovascular disease risk beyond other factors that restrict healthcare access, and while recent immigrants overall had a lower risk for cardiovascular disease than long-term immigrants, cardiovascular disease risk was particularly pronounced among uninsured recent immigrants. Insurance plays a critical role in increasing access to preventive services, especially laboratory testing for inclusive of lipid and glucose screenings, which were elevated among recent immigrants.

"So many factors affect access to healthcare, but the most powerful indicator we measured was whether immigrants had insurance. For recent immigrants, health insurance acts as an equalizer of sorts, attenuating the effects of lower socioeconomic status and language barriers," said Sadarangani. "Aging immigrants are entering the U.S. at a precarious point in their lives and are predisposed to developing chronic conditions. Yet, they are disincentivized from using healthcare for a variety of reasons, including recent efforts to enact a 'public charge' rule that would penalize immigrants for using Medicaid and other services. In contrast, increasing access to health insurance might actually lower their cardiovascular disease risk, which could prevent unnecessary and costly healthcare utilization."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Printed Temperature Sensors help with Continuous Temperature Monitoring
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Health Insurance Plan Third Party Administrators for Health Insurance Star Health and Allied Insurance Health Insurance Policies offered by Bajaj Allianz Insurance ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited Health Insurance Health Insurance - Ombudsman Health Insurance - Basics New India Assurance Policies Cholamandalam Health Insurance Policies 

Recommended Reading
Health Insurance - Basics
Health insurance guarantees payments to a person in the event of sickness or injury.and works as .....
Congenital Heart Disease
Heart diseases that are present at birth are called " Congenital heart diseases"....
Quiz on Health Insurance
This Quiz is to test your knowledge on health insurance in the U.S, there is so much activity ......
Pulse Rate Chart (or) Heart Rate Chart
Pulse rate or heart rate calculator helps you to find out the recommended average pulse rate for ......
Cholamandalam Health Insurance Policies
Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company (Chola MS) a joint venture of Murugappa Group & Mitsui Su...
Health Insurance - Basics
Health insurance guarantees payments to a person in the event of sickness or injury.and works as pr...
Health Insurance - Ombudsman
Insurance Ombudsman institutions work for the purpose of quick disposal of the grievances of the ins...
Health Insurance Plan
With a health insurance policy you and your family can rest assured!...
Health Insurance Policies offered by Bajaj Allianz Insurance
Bajaj allianz health insurance policies protect you and your family in case you need expensive medic...
ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited
Major health care plans from the ICICI Lombard include complete health insurance ihealth plan, perso...
New India Assurance Policies
The existing Mediclaim and Health Plus Medical expenses policies have been discontinued and Mediclai...
Star Health and Allied Insurance
Star Health & Allied Insurance offers a convenient insurance for the corporate people when they tra...
Third Party Administrators for Health Insurance
TPA is an IRDA approved healthcare service provider. TPA processes claims for policy holders on beha...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use