Objective: To compare all-cause and cause-specific mortality rates between Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups and estimate the effect of family income, place of birth, and place of residence on these rates.
Design: Cohort study using national survey data matched to the National Death Index, with a mortality follow-up period of 9 years.
Setting: The noninstitutionalized population of the United States.
Participants: Approximately 700,000 respondents (aged 25 years or older), including 40,000 Hispanics, to national surveys conducted by the US Bureau of the Census (Current Population Surveys).
Outcome measures: All causes and underlying cause of death, coded from the death certificate, occurring between 1979 and 1987.
Results: Adjusting for age, Hispanics were shown to have lower mortality from all causes compared with non-Hispanics (standardized rate ratio [SRR], 0.74 for men, 0.82 for women), lower mortality from cancer (SRR, 0.69 for men, 0.61 for women), lower mortality from cardiovascular disease (SRR, 0.65 for men, 0.80 for women), higher mortality from diabetes (SRR, 1.86 for men, 2.38 for women), and higher mortality from homicide (SRR, 3.60 for men). After adjusting for differences in annual family income, the relative mortality ratios were even lower for Hispanics than non-Hispanics.
Conclusions: These data describe, in a large national cohort study, a lower mortality in Hispanics than in non-Hispanics. This mortality is particularly low after adjustment for differences in family income.