Proportional Mortality Ratios among Korean Immigrants to New York City, 1986-1990

Stellman, Steven D.

Background. About 13,000 people immigrated to New York City from the Republic of Korea between 1986 and 1990, creating an important ethnic minority. Methods. Using US-born Whites as a reference, age-adjusted proportional mortality ratios were computed for 314 men and 248 women of Korean ancestry born abroad who died in New York City in 1986-90. Results. Males had a significant excess of viral hepatitis, cancer, stroke, and external causes, accidents, suicide, and homicide. Mortality patterns were similar for Korean women, who had significantly increased proportional rates of stroke and accidents, and reduced heart disease. Stomach and liver cancers were significantly elevated in both sexes, while female breast cancer was low. There were two male and one female tuberculosis deaths (4 to 7 fold increase), and one Korean woman died of childbirth complications (59-fold increase). Conclusions. Except for violent deaths, these observations resemble known mortality patterns in Korea.

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Yonsei Medical Journal

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August 21, 2014


From Steven Stellman: This is the second of two studies that I carried out while a Fogarty Senior International Fellow at IARC in Lyon, France (the first, published in 1994, was on Chinese immigrants and is available in Academic Commons at ).