A Propensity Score Approach to Examining Ethnic Density, Immigrant Concentration, and Latino Health Risks

Kelin Li, California State University, Sacramento
Ming Wen, University of Utah
Kevin Henry, Rutgers University

This study asks the following two research questions: (1) Are Hispanic ethnic density and immigrant concentration positively or negatively associated with them having high blood pressure and high cholesterol level? (2) Are these associations robust after taking into account sample selection bias? Pooled data from the 2006 and 2008 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey (N=1,563) were linked to census-tract profiles obtained from 2005-2009 American Community Survey. Results from both multilevel models and propensity score matching analyses suggested that neighborhood Hispanic density did have impact on Hispanic adults' health risks over and above individual risk factors, while the observed effects of immigrant concentration were likely due to neighborhood selection bias. This study contributed to the literature by theorizing racial/ethnic isolation and immigrant concentration as two distinct residential patterns that can have divergent implications on minority health while directly addressing sample selection bias in observational studies.

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 Presented in Session P5. Adult Health and Mortality