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Am J Public Health. 1992 Aug;82(8):1089-92.

The Roseto effect: a 50-year comparison of mortality rates.

Author information

1
Center for Social Research, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa. 18105.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Earlier studies found striking differences in mortality from myocardial infarction between Roseto, a homogeneous Italian-American community in Pennsylvania, and other nearby towns between 1955 and 1965. These differences disappeared as Roseto became more "Americanized" in the 1960s. The present study extended the comparison over a longer period of time to test the hypothesis that the findings from this period were not due to random fluctuations in small communities.

METHODS:

We examined death certificates for Roseto and Bangor from 1935 to 1985. Age-standardized death rates and mortality ratios were computed for each decade.

RESULTS:

Rosetans had a lower mortality rate from myocardial infarction over the course of the first 30 years, but it rose to the level of Bangor's following a period of erosion of traditionally cohesive family and community relationships. This mortality-rate increase involved mainly younger Rosetan men and elderly women.

CONCLUSIONS:

The data confirmed the existence of consistent mortality differences between Roseto and Bangor during a time when there were many indicators of greater social solidarity and homogeneity in Roseto.

PMID:
1636828
PMCID:
PMC1695733
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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