Paradox lost: explaining the Hispanic adult mortality advantage

Demography. 2004 Aug;41(3):385-415. doi: 10.1353/dem.2004.0024.


We tested three competing hypotheses regarding the adult "Hispanic mortality paradox": data artifact, migration, and cultural or social buffering effects. On the basis of a series of parametric hazard models estimated on nine years of mortality follow-up data, our results suggest that the "Hispanic" mortality advantage is a feature found only among foreign-born Mexicans and foreign-born Hispanics other than Cubans or Puerto Ricans. Our analysis suggests that the foreign-born Mexican advantage can be attributed to return migration, or the "salmon-bias" effect. However, we were unable to account for the mortality advantage observed among other foreign-born Hispanics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data
  • Emigration and Immigration / trends
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Social Class
  • Survival Analysis*
  • United States / epidemiology