Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Immigration and suicide in Asian Americans

Asian-American women (who tend to come from the Far East and the Philippines rather than Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) who are born in the U.S. have higher rates of thinking about, and attempting suicide, than other groups. Asian-Americans as a whole have lower rates of suicidal behaviour and a 2006 study found that Asian immigrants had significantly lower rates of psychiatric disorders than American-born Asians and other native-born Americans. Based on a sample of nearly 2,100 people researchers from the University of Washington found that 15.93% of U.S. born Asian-American women had contemplated suicide and 6.29% had made a suicide bid over the course of their lives compared to 13.5% and 4.6% respectively in the population as a whole. The research fits in with the "healthy immigrant" theory which says that immigrants tend to be healthier than the native population at first (because healthier people are more likely to emigrate and/or come from a culture with healthier habits) and then become less healthy as they adopt the habits of the native population.

You can find out more about this research at

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