North Texas Daily

Hispanics shown to live longer in study

Hispanics shown to live longer in study

January 28
23:31 2013

Melissa Wylie / Senior Staff Writer

Death is one of the few commonalities shared by all humans, but a recent study has shown that Hispanics may have a longer life expectancy than other ethnicities.

Dr. John Ruiz, assistant psychology professor at UNT, conducted collaborative research with two professors from Brigham Young University to address the phenomenon known as the Hispanic Mortality Paradox.

Hispanic Latinos, particularly of first generation or immigrant descent, and even more often Mexican descent, tend to live longer despite typically having a lower social and economic status, said health psychology and behavioral medicine doctoral student James Garcia.

Garcia is one of five graduate students studying Hispanic health with Ruiz.

“The saying goes that, ‘wealth equals health,’ but an exception to that appears to be with Hispanics,” Ruiz said. “Because these things are going in different directions, it’s been called the Hispanic Mortality Paradox.”

Ruiz said he has been exploring the Hispanic Mortality Paradox since his arrival at UNT in 2008, even though it has existed since the early 1980s.

The results of his study were published this year in the American Journal of Public Health.

Now that he is confident the paradox exists, Ruiz said he intends to investigate why Hispanics are more resilient than other races.

“The medical field is based on risk and looking for things that could damage your health, but health is determined not only by risk factors, but by resilience factors as well,” Ruiz said. “This is an opportunity to look at the other side of the coin and look at what could actually be protective of health.”

Ruiz said he used meta-analysis, combining results from different studies, to evaluate 58 studies compiled from hospital records to find one final answer to the controversial topic.

“We took all of the studies that had been done over the last 25 years where Hispanics, and at least one other racial ethnic group, were enrolled into a study,” Ruiz said. “Those people were then followed for a period of time and the study reported how many people had died and what race and ethnicity those people were.”

The results showed that Hispanics had a 17.5 percent mortality advantage over non-Hispanics, Ruiz said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 52 million Hispanic residents in the United States as of July 2011. The population has also been estimated to rise to about 66.4 million in 2020, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the U.S.’s projected population.

Parkland Hospital in Dallas provided the records for the research because of the proportionality of patient ethnicity, Ruiz said.

Parkland Hospital admits about 24,000 patients a year, and 96 percent of the patient base is one-third Hispanic, one-third non-Hispanic black and one-third non-Hispanic white, Ruiz said.

Garcia said he would like to see researchers look into the physiological mechanisms that are causing this phenomenon instead of focusing on the question of its existence.

“The maintenance of health becomes important, not only with this ethnic group but with other racial ethnic groups,” Garcia said. “What we know about this group might be applicable to helping other racial ethnic groups attain or maintain better health.”

About Author



Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
@DentonCountyOEM: The Winter Storm arrived quicker than previous forecast. There are slick spots on the road, & multiple accidents reported. @TxDOTDallas & other crews are aware & treating roadways.If you can, PLEASE stay off the roads!(1/2)
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
SPORTS: Men’s basketball defeats Texas-El Paso for third straight win📝: Jillian Nachtigal - @jillnachtigal 📸: Matt Iaia - @iaiaphotographyRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
@jillnachtigal: Back in the Super Pit where North Texas MBB will take on University of Texas-El Paso.North Texas still holds the No. 2 spot in the conference with a 8-3 record. UTEP is No. 6 with a 4-5 record.Tip-off in 30 mins! Updates below⬇️ @ntdaily
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
SPORTS: Men’s basketball wins close contest over Texas-San Antonio📝: Jillian Nachtigal - @jillnachtigal 📸: Maria Crane - @mariacranemediaRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: Music’s multifaceted benefits create more accessible options for patients📝: Madelynn Todd - @madelynn7694 🖼️: Erika Sevilla - @jasperbeeeRead more:
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad