Mortality Rates, Hispanic


Objectives: The current objective was to compare Hispanic mortality rates to those of other racial/ethnic groups in order to investigate the possibility of a Hispanic mortality advantage.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the published longitudinal literature reporting Hispanic individuals’ mortality of any cause compared with that of any other racial/ethnic group.

Results: Across 58 studies (4,615,747 participants), the random effects weighted average effect size was OR = 0.825 (P < .001, 95% CI = 0.75 to 0.91), corresponding to a 17.5% lower risk of mortality among Hispanic populations compared to other racial groups. The difference in mortality risk tended to be greater among older populations and varied as a function of pre-existing health condition, with effects apparent for initially healthy samples and for those with cardiovascular diseases. The results also differed by racial group comparison: Hispanics had lower overall risk for mortality than non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks, but overall higher risk for mortality than Asian Americans.

Conclusions: These findings provide evidence of a small Hispanic mortality advantage, with implications for conceptualizing and addressing racial/ethnic health disparities.

Original Publication Citation

Ruiz, J., Steffen, P., & Smith, T. B. (2013). The Hispanic mortality paradox: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the longitudinal literature. American Journal of Public Health, 103(2), 1-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301103.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


American Public Health Association




David O. McKay School of Education


Counseling Psychology and Special Education

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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