Immigrants' mortality patterns in the short- and long-term point toward origin-related diversities: The Israeli experience

Uri Gabbay*, Yuri Leshukovits, Siegal Sadetzki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immigrant mortality studies reveal conflicting results that were attributed to diversity in immigrant definition, different classifications, and lack of appropriate comparisons. This work studied mortality patterns of the immigrations absorbed in Israel. Short-term mortality was evaluated by comparing the Standardized Mortality Rate (SMR) of the first year after immigration to the SMR of the second to fifth years. Long-term mortality was evaluated by comparing recent immigrant cohorts to cohorts of immigrants who have been residents 5 and 10 years. Stratification was made by source country classification and gender. Data were derived from the Israel National Population Registry and were analyzed anonymously. Immigrants from developed and developing countries had the highest SMR in the first year, which considerably decreased in both short and long term. Immigrants from mid-developed countries had stable SMR in the short term followed by only a modest decrease in the long term. Ethiopian immigrants exhibited exceptionally low SMR in the first year, following which it increased but remained relatively low. Mortality patterns of different immigrant groups differ even under similar definitions, conditions, and period. Only immigrants of developed and developing countries presented the expected pattern of excessive short-term mortality, which consistently decreased with time. Unique mortality patterns were discovered among two groups: Immigrants from mid-developed countries presented stable mortality attributable to isolation and delayed adaptation, and Ethiopian low mortality attributable to pre-migration natural selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Country of origin
  • Host country
  • Immigrants
  • Mortality
  • Standardized mortality rate (SMR)


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