Differences in mortality by immigrant status in Italy. Results of the Italian Network of Longitudinal Metropolitan Studies

Barbara Pacelli, Nicolás Zengarini, Serena Broccoli, Nicola Caranci, Teresa Spadea, Chiara Di Girolamo, Laura Cacciani, Alessio Petrelli, Paola Ballotari, Laura Cestari, Laura Grisotto, Paolo Giorgi Rossi, IN-LiMeS Group The IN-LiMeS Group, Alessio Petrelli, Anna Maria Bargagli, Annibale Biggeri, Barbara Pacelli, Concetta Mirisola, Cristina Canova, Ferdinando LubertoGianfranco Costanzo, Gianna Terni, Giulia Cesaroni, Giuseppe Costa, Laura Bonvicini, Laura Cacciani, Laura Cestari, Laura Grisotto, Lorenzo Simonato, Luisa Mondo, Marina Davoli, Nera Agabiti, Nicola Caranci, Nicolás Zengarini, Paola Ballotari, Paolo Carnà, Paolo Giorgi Rossi, Serena Broccoli, Teresa Spadea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite a rapid increase in immigration from low-income countries, studies on immigrants’ mortality in Italy are scarce. We aimed to describe differences in all and cause-specific mortality among immigrants and Italians residing in Turin and Reggio Emilia (Northern Italy), two cities participating in the Italian Network of Longitudinal Metropolitan Studies (IN-LiMeS). We used individual data from the municipal population registers linked to the cause of death registers. All people aged 1–64 years residing between 2001 and 2010 were enrolled (open cohort) and followed up until 2013. The mortality of citizens from high migratory pressure countries (as a whole, and for each macro-area group) was compared with that of Italians; differences were estimated by Poisson regression adjusted by age and calendar year mortality rate ratios (MRRs), and by age-standardized mortality ratios for the analysis of cause-specific mortality. Compared with Italians, immigrants had lower overall mortality (MRR for men: 0.82, 95 % CI: 0.75–0.90; for women: 0.71, 95 % CI: 0.63–0.81). Sub-Saharan Africans experienced a significant higher mortality than Italians (MRR for men 1.29, 95 % CI: 1.03–1.61; for women: 1.70, 95 % CI: 1.22–2.36). Higher mortality for immigrants compared to Italians was observed for infectious diseases, congenital anomalies, some site-specific tumours and homicide mortality. Our study showed heterogeneity in mortality across the macro-areas of origin, and in particular Sub-Saharan Africans seemed to be a vulnerable population. The extension to other cohorts of IN-LiMeS will allow the health status of immigrants and vulnerable groups to be studied and monitored in more depth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-701
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Cause of death
  • Immigrants
  • Italy
  • Mortality
  • Open cohort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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