The self-reported health of immigrant groups in Switzerland

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Alexander Bischoff, Philippe Wanner


More than 20% of people living in Switzerland are immigrants, defined as people with foreign nationality. This study examines health disparities between the main immigrant groups in Switzerland and the majority Swiss population. Epidemiological analysis of the 2002 Swiss Health Survey (SHS): the SHS contains health-related information about 19,706 people who were randomly sampled from among people living in Switzerland. Bi-variate and multivariate analyses of six variables on self-reported health were performed. The data from the 2002 Swiss Health Survey provide some evidence of health disparities between Swiss people and immigrants. Although the self-reported health of "Northern immigrants" (people from Germany and France) does not differ significantly from that of the majority Swiss population, "Southern immigrants" (people from Italy, Former Yugoslavia, Portugal, Spain and Turkey) report lower levels of health in several areas. Lower levels of health are particularly likely to be reported by Italian men and women. The self-reported health of immigrants is currently inferior to that of the Swiss. If it is the position of the Swiss health care system to ensure equal health provision for all Swiss residents, including immigrant...Continue Reading


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