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

John M. Ruiz, Patrick Steffen, Timothy B. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


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 searchedMEDLINE,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 withcardiovasculardiseases. The results also differed by racial group: Hispanics had lower overall risk of mortality than did non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks, but overallhigherriskofmortality than did Asian Americans. These findings provided strong evidence of a Hispanic mortality advantage, with implications for conceptualizingandaddressing racial/ethnic health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e52-e60
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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