Aging Well

Hispanics Live Longer Than Whites

One in every six people in the U.S. is Hispanic/Latino and as a group they live longer than non-Hispanic whites — 81.4 years vs. 78.8 years. Yet despite their strong representation and relative longevity, little is understood about this group's health conditions and behaviors, according to a release from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of the Yeshiva University in the Bronx, NY.

Now a landmark study done in the Bronx, San Diego, Chicago, and Miami has released initial findings that show significant variations in disease prevalence and health behaviors among groups with different backgrounds. You can read the report here: Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos.

Initial Findings

The findings reported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the NIH, are the result of the national study that began in 2008. The data is based on interviews conducted with 16,415 study participants at one of the four U.S. field centers.

Variation by Background

The release quotes principal investigator Robert Kaplan Ph.D. as saying, "While many trends are consistent across all four field sites, there are clear differences between participants in each city – and more importantly, between each Hispanic group."  

Among the highlights of the report are the followingThe percentage of people who report having asthma ranged from 7.4 (Mexican) to 35.8 (Puerto Rican)

*The percentage of individuals who had pre-diabetes ranged from 32.1 (Dominican) to 37.7 (Mexican)

*The percent of people eating 5 or more fruits/vegetables a day ranged from 19.2 (Puerto Rican) to 55.0 (Cuban)

*Average minutes of daily recreational activity ranged from 17.7 (Cuban) to 28.3 (Puerto Rican)

"Teasing out these variations can help clinicians, public health advocates and members of the community focus their energies in the right places," explained Dr. Kaplan. "Ultimately, we hope to uncover the key factors that can lead to improved health for all Hispanics."

The study investigators and NIH are partnering with the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and other national and local organizations to increase the reach of the study. Today, the Alliance released a booklet showing the data reported by all four field centers. The 40-page bilingual report is titled About Our Health: Results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (SOL). 

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