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U.S. Hispanics Outlive General Population: CDC
Date:10/13/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanics in the United States outlive whites by almost three years and blacks by almost eight years, according to a new report.

The report, released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday, confirms the so-called "Hispanic paradox" -- that despite reports of poverty and health issues, Hispanics live longer than others.

"We have known that Hispanics have had a longer length of life," said Jane L. Delgado, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, who was not involved in the research.

But the findings may surprise the average person, "because most of the time what people hear about is what problems Hispanics have," she said.

These include lower income, lack of health insurance, high-risk jobs, limited access to health care and being overweight and diabetic, she said.

Life expectancy for Hispanics at birth is 80.6 years; for whites, 78.1 years and for blacks, 72.9 years. In 2006, life expectancy for all Americans at birth was 77.7 years.

"Although seemingly paradoxical, these results are consistent with the findings of numerous studies, which show a Hispanic mortality advantage despite this population's lower socioeconomic status," report author Elizabeth Arias from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, said in a CDC news release.

So what's the secret? Although various theories have surfaced, experts can't say for sure why Hispanics enjoy greater longevity, but Delgado said studies are under way.

"It's probably not genetic," Delgado said. "The longer people are in the United States they start to lose some of these health advantages."

As Hispanics adopt an American lifestyle they tend to become more sedentary and eat more snack foods, meats, fat and other things associated with unhealthy living, Delgado said. They also smoke more after
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