Asthma mortality in U.S. Hispanics of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban heritage, 1990-1995

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000 Feb;161(2 Pt 1):504-9. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.161.2.9906025.


We used national vital statistics data for 1990 through 1995 to examine both national and regional age-adjusted asthma mortality rates for U.S. Hispanics of Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican heritage, as well as for non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks. Nationally, Puerto Ricans had an age-adjusted annual asthma mortality rate of 40.9 per million, followed by Cuban-Americans (15. 8 per million) and Mexican-Americans (9.2 per million). In comparison, non-Hispanic whites had an age-adjusted annual asthma mortality rate of 14.7 per million and non-Hispanic blacks had a rate of 38.1 per million. Age-adjusted asthma mortality for Puerto Ricans was highest in the Northeast (47.8 per million); this region accounted for 81% of all asthma deaths among Puerto Ricans in the United States. In the U.S., Puerto Ricans had the highest asthma mortality rates among Hispanics, followed by Cuban-Americans and Mexican-Americans. In addition, among Hispanic national groups, mortality rates were consistently higher in the Northeast than the Midwest, South, or West regions. These results further support that Hispanics do not represent a uniform, discrete group in terms of health outcomes, and that further public health research and interventions should take Hispanic national origin into account.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / ethnology
  • Asthma / mortality*
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cuba / ethnology
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Puerto Rico / ethnology