Peace in guatemala and immigrant health in the United States

Jeremy C. Green, Eric Adjei Boakye, Amanda Schoening, Michael G. Vaughn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The civil war between the indigenous Mayans and other Guatemalans lasted for 36 years, killed civilians, decimated villages, and resulted in many refugees. The Guatemalan Peace Agreement of 1996 aimed to alleviate the ongoing conflict. Studies of peace agreements more typically evaluate local political outcomes while neglecting global health outcomes. Objective: Our research quantified associations between pre-migration exposure to the peace agreement in Guatemala and the post-migration health status of Guatemalan immigrants in the United States. Methods: We used chi-square tests to compare the distribution of health status before and after peace. We used ordered probit regressions to estimate associations between peace in Guatemala and health in the United States, conditional on the observed distributions of age, age squared, age cubed, and linear time trends before and after peace. Findings: The study sample included 4,115 female and 5,282 male Guatemalan immigrants between the ages of 15 and 85. The mean age was 38.8 years for females (standard deviation, 14.2) and 35.4 years for males (standard deviation, 12.6). Chi-square tests found statistically significant differences in the distribution of health status before and after the peace agreement, for females (P <.001) and males (P <.001). In unadjusted results, the peace agreement was associated with a 7.3 percentage point increase in excellent post-migration health for females (95% confidence interval, 4.9 to 9.8) and a 6.0 percentage point increase for males (95% confidence interval, 3.8 to 8.2). In adjusted results, we found that the peace agreement was associated with a 6.1 percentage point increase in excellent post-migration health for females (95% confidence interval, 0.8 to 11.4) and a 5.5-percentage point increase for males (95% confidence interval, 1.0 to 10.0). Conclusions: The peace agreement in Guatemala was associated with statistically significant improvements in the health status of Guatemalan immigrants to the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-709
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Global Health
Volume84
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 5

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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