Migration status, socioeconomic status, and mortality rates in Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites: the San Antonio Heart Study

Ann Epidemiol. 1996 Jul;6(4):307-13. doi: 10.1016/s1047-2797(96)00026-9.

Abstract

It has been claimed that Mexican Americans have a favorable mortality experience despite their low socioeconomic status (SES). The present study compared all-cause mortality of non-Hispanic whites with that of United States-born and foreign-born (i.e., born in Mexico) Mexican Americans. Subjects were 3735 residents of San Antonio, TX, who were followed-up for 7-8 years. The sex-age adjusted death rates per 1000 person-years were higher for United States-born Mexican Americans (5.7) than for non-Hispanic whites (3.8) or for foreign-born Mexican Americans (3.6). Foreign-born Mexican Americans had the lowest socioeconomic status (SES), and non-Hispanic whites had the highest SES. After adjustment for SES, the mortality ratio for United States-born Mexican Americans compared with foreign-born Mexican Americans was 1.9 (95% confidence interval, 1.0-3.5), while the ratio for United States-born Mexican Americans compared with non-Hispanic whites was 1.0 (95% confidence interval, 0.7-1.6). Stratified analysis revealed that those in the lowest SES tertiles had threefold greater risk of death than those in the highest tertiles among both United States-born Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites (test for trend, P < 0.001). These data suggest that lower SES is strongly associated with increased mortality. After adjustment for SES, mortality rates were similar for United States-born Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites. Foreign-born Mexican Americans had the lowest mortality rates of the three groups.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Social Class*
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Transients and Migrants / statistics & numerical data*