Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 232–238 | Cite as

English Language Use, Health and Mortality in Older Mexican Americans

Original Paper


The purpose of this study is to determine if English language use is associated with smoking, diabetes, hypertension, limitations in Activities of Daily Living (ADL), and 12-year mortality in older Mexican Americans. Using data from a cohort of 3,050 Mexican Americans aged 65 years and older, we examined prevalence of 4 health indicators and survival over 12 years of follow-up by English language use. English language use is associated with increased odds of hypertension in men, independent of nativity and sociodemographic control variables. Among women, English language use is associated with lower odds of ADL limitations and increased odds of smoking. The associations for women were partially explained by occupational status and nativity. After adjusting for health conditions, sociodemographics, and nativity, English language use was associated with increased mortality among men. Interaction terms revealed that for both men and women, higher English language use was associated with mortality for respondents with the highest level of income only. English language use is a predictor of health and mortality in older Mexican Americans separate from country of birth.


English Chronic illness Death and dying Latinos Gender 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Texas School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional CampusUniversity of Texas BrownsvilleBrownsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Preventive Medicine and Community HealthUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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