Paradox lost: Explaining the hispanic adult mortality advantage

Abstract

We tested three competing hypotheses regarding the adult “Hispanic mortality paradox”: data artifact, migration, and cultural or social buffering effects. On the basis of a series of parametric hazard models estimated on nine years of mortality follow-up data, our results suggest that the “Hispanic” mortality advantage is a feature found only among foreign-born Mexicans and foreign born Hispanics other than Cubans or Puerto Ricans. Our analysis suggests that the foreign-born Mexican advantage can be attributed to return migration, or the “salmon-bias” effect. However, we were unable to account for the mortality advantage observed among other foreign-born Hispanics.

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Correspondence to Elizabeth Arias.

Additional information

We are grateful to Robert N. Anderson, Jennifer H. Madans, and James A. Weed, of the NCHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Nan Astone, of the Department of Population Dynamics, Johns Hopkins University; Richard Rogers, of the Department of Sociology, University of Colorado at Boulder; and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful and detailed suggestions. We are also grateful to the participants in colloquia at the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, the Population Council, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Washington for their helpful hints and comments. Research for this article was supported by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development through a core grant (P30HD05876) to the Center for Demography and Ecology, by National Institute on Aging through a core grant (P30AG17266) to the Center for Demography of Health and Aging, and through research grants R01AG16209, ROGAG18016, and R03AG15673. Finally, we thank Bob Hauser for his linguistic contribution.

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Palloni, A., Arias, E. Paradox lost: Explaining the hispanic adult mortality advantage. Demography 41, 385–415 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1353/dem.2004.0024

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Keywords

  • Hispanic Adult
  • Data Artifact
  • Merican Journal
  • Family Income Distribution
  • Multivariate Hazard Model