Ethnic German Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union: Mortality from External Causes and Cancers

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The aim of this work was to describe the mortality experience of ethnic German immigrants from the former Soviet Union in Germany. This study compares the mortality rates from cancers and unnatural causes, in a representative cohort of these immigrants, with the rates of the native German population. It was postulated that the former would have higher mortality from external causes, lung cancer, stomach cancer, but lower mortality from breast and prostate cancers based on what has been observed from other migrant studies. Surprisingly, the immigrants had lower overall mortality. They had lower mortality from all cancers, higher mortality from lung cancer and lower mortality from cancers of the reproductive system. Male immigrants had higher mortality from all unnatural causes, especially suicide. The immigrants had a mortality advantage that decreased over time, in contrast to the trend among native Germans.