Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Life Expectancy Differentials Decomposed by Cause of Death

Lloyd Potter, University of Texas at San Antonio

The noted and debated “Hispanic Paradox” of Hispanics in the U.S. living longer despite having lower social and economic status has perplexed demographers for decades. There is relatively little information about the underlying cause of death differentials between the two groups. Multiple decrement life tables were constructed for 2004-05 for non-Hispanic whites and Hispanic whites and life expectancy differentials were decomposed by cause of death. Life expectancy was 81.3 for Hispanic whites, and 78.1 for non-Hispanic whites. Causes of death that favored Hispanic whites over non-Hispanic whites included malignant neoplasm (.70 years), heart disease (.35), chronic lower respiratory disease (.24) and suicide (.15). Several causes of death favored life expectancy of non-Hispanic whites over Hispanic whites including homicide (-.17 years), diabetes mellitus (-.15), and HIV (-.04 ). Trends in causes of death by ethnicity are discussed in terms of implications for the ethnic life expectancy differentials in the United States.

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Presented in Poster Session 4