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Am J Public Health. 2013 Mar;103(3):e52-60. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301103. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Hispanic mortality paradox: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the longitudinal literature.

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Department of Psychology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-5017, USA.


To investigate the possibility of a Hispanic mortality advantage, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the published longitudinal literature reporting Hispanic individuals' mortality from any cause compared with any other race/ethnicity. We searched MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, HealthSTAR, and PsycINFO for published literature from January 1990 to July 2010. Across 58 studies (4 615 747 participants), Hispanic populations had a 17.5% lower risk of mortality compared with other racial groups (odds ratio = 0.825; P < .001; 95% confidence interval = 0.75, 0.91). The difference in mortality risk was greater among older populations and varied by preexisting health conditions, with effects apparent for initially healthy samples and those with cardiovascular diseases. The results also differed by racial group: Hispanics had lower overall risk of mortality than did non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks, but overall higher risk of mortality than did Asian Americans. These findings provided strong evidence of a Hispanic mortality advantage, with implications for conceptualizing and addressing racial/ethnic health disparities.

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