Hispanic Older Adult Mortality in the United States: New Estimates and an Assessment of Factors Shaping the Hispanic Paradox
- 1.1k Downloads
Hispanics make up a rapidly growing proportion of the U.S. older adult population, so a firm grasp of their mortality patterns is paramount for identifying racial/ethnic differences in life chances in the population as a whole. Documentation of Hispanic mortality is also essential for assessing whether the Hispanic paradox—the similarity in death rates between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites despite Hispanics’ socioeconomic disadvantage—characterizes all adult Hispanics or just some age, gender, nativity, or national-origin subgroups. We estimate age-/sex- and cause-specific mortality rate ratios and life expectancy for foreign-born and U.S.-born Hispanics, foreign-born and U.S.-born Mexican Americans, non-Hispanic blacks, and non-Hispanic whites ages 65 and older using the 1989–2006 National Health Interview Survey Linked Mortality Files. Results affirm that Hispanic mortality estimates are favorable relative to those of blacks and whites, but particularly so for foreign-born Hispanics and smoking-related causes. However, if not for Hispanics’ socioeconomic disadvantage, their mortality levels would be even more favorable.
KeywordsAdult mortality Race/ethnicity Hispanic paradox Socioeconomic status Smoking
Funding for this research was provided by the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society (John W. Rowe, Columbia University (Chair)), and by infrastructural research support (5 R24 HD042849) and training support (5 T32 HD007081) from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and training support (5 T32 AG000139) from the National Institute on Aging. We also thank the National Center for Health Statistics and the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota for making the data available for this article.
- Arias, E. (2010). United States life tables by Hispanic origin (Vital and Health Statistics, 2(152)). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.Google Scholar
- Cai, L., Hayward, M. D., Saito, Y., Lubitz, J., Hagedorn, A., & Crimmins, E. (2010). Estimation of multistate life table functions and their variability from complex survey data using the SPACE program. Demographic Research, 22(article 6), 129–158. doi: 10.4054/DemRes.2010.22.6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Crimmins, E. M., Soldo, B. J., Kim, J. K., & Alley, D. W. (2005). Using anthropometric indicators for Mexicans in the United States and Mexico to understand the selection of migrants and the “Hispanic paradox.” Social Biology, 52, 164–177.Google Scholar
- Hummer, R. A., Rogers, R. G., Amir, S. H., Forbes, D., & Frisbie, W. P. (2000). Adult mortality differentials among Hispanic subgroups and non-Hispanic whites. Social Science Quarterly, 81, 459–476.Google Scholar
- Hummer, R. A., Rogers, R. G., Nam, C. B., & LeClere, F. B. (1999b). Race/ethnicity, nativity, and U.S. adult mortality. Social Science Quarterly, 80, 136–153.Google Scholar
- Markides, K. S., & Coreil, J. (1986). The health of Hispanics in the Southwestern United States: An epidemiologic paradox. Public Health Reports, 101, 253–265.Google Scholar
- National Center for Health Statistics. (2009). The National Health Interview Survey (1986–2004) Linked Mortality Files, mortality follow-up through 2006: Matching methodology. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/datalinkage/matching_methodology_nhis_final.pdf
- Research Triangle Institute (RTI). (2008). SUDAAN language manual, release 10.0. Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI.Google Scholar
- Rogers, R. G., Hummer, R. A., & Nam, C. B. (2000). Living and dying in the USA: Behavioral, health, and social differentials in adult mortality. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Rosenberg, H. M., Mauer, J. D., Sorlie, P. D., Johnson, N. J., MacDorman, M. F., Hoyert, D. L., & Scott, C. (1999). Quality of death rates by race and Hispanic origin: A summary of current research, 1999 (Vital and Health Statistics 2(128)). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.Google Scholar