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Inj Prev. 2011 Apr;17(2):102-7. doi: 10.1136/ip.2010.028886. Epub 2010 Dec 5.

The Latino adolescent male mortality peak revisited: attribution of homicide and motor vehicle crash death.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06519, USA.



The Latino Epidemiologic Paradox describes favourable health profiles for Latinos compared to non-Latino whites despite poverty, low education, and low access to healthcare. The objective of this study was to determine if the anomaly to the Latino Epidemiological Paradox and the Latino Adolescent Male Mortality Peak in California mortality data persists.


Cases were California residents (1999-2006) of any race and ethnicity that died (N = 1,866,743) in California from any cause of death. Mortality rates and rate ratios were calculated according to causes of death for 5 year age groups.


For males and females combined, age adjusted mortality rates were 509 for Latinos and 681 for non-Latino whites per 100,000/year. Latino male mortality rate ratios exceeded 1.0 compared to non-Latino white males only for age groups 15-19 years (1.41, 95% CI 1.35 to 1.49) and 20-24 years (1.24, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.29). Latinas had lower mortality rates than non-Latino white females for all ages over 15 years. Male homicide rates for Latinos increased over the study period, but did not reach the rates reported for the years 1989-1997. Both male homicide and motor vehicle crash mortality rates were higher for Latinos than non-Latino whites and peaked at 20-24 years. The Latino crash mortality rate exceeded the rate for non-Latino whites overall and for each year 2003-2006. Crash mortality for males aged 15-24 years increased from 2000 to 2006.


The anomaly and the mortality peak persist, with notable attribution to homicide and crashes. Without homicide, the mortality peak would not exist. Mortality disparities for Latino adolescent males from these two causes of death in California appear to be growing.

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