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Adult Mortality Differentials among Hispanic Subgroups and Non-Hispanic Whites

Citation

Hummer, Robert A.; Rogers, Richard G.; Amir, Sarit H.; Forbes, Douglas; & Frisbie, W. Parker (2000). Adult Mortality Differentials among Hispanic Subgroups and Non-Hispanic Whites. Social Science Quarterly, 81(1), 459-76.

Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this paper is to explore the adult mortality experience of Hispanic subgroups in a comparative context with non-Hispanic whites (Anglos) in the most comprehensive manner to date. Methods: Using the National Health Interview Survey-Multiple Cause of Death linked data set for 1986 through 1995, we compare the mortality risks of Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, Central/South Americans, and Other Hispanics with those of Anglos. Cox proportional hazards models are used to estimate the gross and net associations of ethnicity with overall, sex-specific, age-specific, and cause-specific mortality. Results: We find moderate overall differences across the Hispanic subgroups, with Puerto Ricans demonstrating the highest overall mortality compared with that of Anglos and Central/South Americans showing the lowest. There are age, sex, and cause-of-death mortality differences between the Hispanic groups and non-Hispanic whites. Most noteworthy are the elevated risks of young-adult mortality among most Hispanic subgroups vis-a-vis Anglos, and the lower risks of circulatory disease and cancer mortality exhibited by most Hispanic subgroups compared to Anglos. Conclusions: With a few notable exceptions, controlling for the complete set of mortality risk factors yields lower overall, sex-specific, age-specific, and cause-specific mortality for the Hispanic subgroups compared with that of non-Hispanic whites. Thus, the epidemiologic paradox - the combination of a high-risk sociodemographic profile and favorable mortality outcomes - applies to all Hispanic adult subgroups, although it is most striking among Mexican Americans.

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Social Science Quarterly

Author(s)

Hummer, Robert A.
Rogers, Richard G.
Amir, Sarit H.
Forbes, Douglas
Frisbie, W. Parker

Year Published

2000

Volume Number

81

Issue Number

1

Pages

459-76

Reference ID

8398