Cognitive Functioning of Foreign-Origin Population in Mid- and Old Age in Comparison to Host and Sending Countries: an Example from Estonia

Liili Abuladze , Estonian Institute for Population Studies, Tallinn University
Luule Sakkeus, Tallinn University
Elena Selezneva, Higher School of Economics
Oxana Sinyavskaya, National Research University Higher School of Economics and Universiteit Maastricht

Migrant health studies often indicate that migrants’ health is better than that of the native population. However, most studies have not analysed ageing migrants when health problems accumulate nor compared them with the origin population. We analyse cognitive functioning of middle-aged and older Russian migrants in Estonia (n=1686) and compare them with Estonians in Estonia (n=4757) and Russians in Russia (n=2979), using the first waves of the SHARE Estonia and the SAGE Russia surveys. This way we can account for and study possible selection effects, age structure differences as well as the role of (dis)advantage in later life health. Adjusted models show that among men, the odds of impaired verbal learning are 1.5 times higher among Russians in Estonia than among Russian men in Russia, and 1.6 times higher than for Estonian men in Estonia. Among women, the differences are 1.4 and 1.8 times higher for Russians in Estonia, respectively. Among Russians in Estonia, differences in impairment are significantly higher for men and women living in rural areas than in urban areas, indicating to possibly low proportion of Russians in Estonia living in rural areas, and lower level of relevant health and care services available in these areas.

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 Presented in Session 42. Health and ageing of immigrants