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Cognitive Health of Middle-Aged and Older Migrants: Russians in Estonia Compared with Russians in Russia and Estonians

Luule Sakkeus, Tallinn University
Liili Abuladze, Estonian Institute for Population Studies, 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. Preliminary regression results show that Russians in Estonia have 1.5 - 4 times higher odds for verbal learning and recall impairment than that of Russians in Russia, and 1.3 - 1.8 times higher odds than that of Estonians in Estonia. Socio-demographic factors explain differences in cognitive impairment between Estonians and Russians in Estonia to some extent. Years spent in education explain differences somewhat in verbal learning and recall impairment between Russians in Estonia and in Russia. Overall, the variables do not explain away the differences in cognitive impairment between the groups.

Keywords: Migrant populations, Older adults, Health and morbidity

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 50. Migrant Health