Does the Hispanic Paradox in U.S. Adult Mortality Extend to Disability?

TitleDoes the Hispanic Paradox in U.S. Adult Mortality Extend to Disability?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsHayward, MD, Hummer, RA, Chiu, C-T, González-González, C, Wong, R
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
KeywordsDemographics, Disabilities, Health Conditions and Status, Women and Minorities

Studies consistently document a Hispanic paradox in U.S. adult mortality, whereby Hispanics have similar or lower mortality rates than non-Hispanic whites despite lower socioeconomic status. This study extends this line of inquiry to disability, especially among foreign-born Hispanics, since their advantaged mortality seemingly should be paired with health advantages more generally. We also assess whether the paradox extends to U.S.-born Hispanics to evaluate the effect of nativity. We calculate multistate life tables of life expectancy with disability to assess whether racial/ethnic and nativity differences in the length of disability-free life parallel differences in overall life expectancy. Our results document a Hispanic paradox in mortality for foreign-born and U.S.-born Hispanics. However, Hispanics low mortality rates are not matched by low disability rates. Their disability rates are substantially higher than those of non-Hispanic whites and generally similar to those of non-Hispanic blacks. The result is a protracted period of disabled life expectancy for Hispanics, both foreign- and U.S.-born.

Endnote Keywords

Hispanic paradox/Disability/Disability/Mortality/Disabled life expectancy/Nativity

Endnote ID


Citation Key8066