Monday, September 28, 2020

Life Expectancy for Hispanics Longer than Whites or Blacks

A new report released Wednesday shows that Hispanics in the U.S. can expect to live longer than whites or blacks.

Government researchers found that Hispanics will outlive whites by more than two years and blacks by more than seven.  The report is the first to take a look at the life expectancy of Hispanics in the country.

The findings back the signs that researches have seen for years on life expectancy for Hispanics as a group.  The “Hispanic Paradox,” as called by some experts, which refers to longevity for a population with a large share of poor, undereducated members, now may have evidence to back it up in the report.

One of the leading theories in explaining this is that those Hispanic immigrants who make the grueling journey to the U.S. are among the healthiest from their countries.

Dr. Peter Muennig, a Columbia University professor who has studied life expectancy in different countries, says that it would take a fit person to accomplish some of the “taxing manual labor” many immigrants take up once they arrive in the country.

This suggests that the “United States is gaining some of the healthiest people born in Mexico and other countries,” said Muennig.

The data in the report is based on death certificates from years earlier.  The government estimates that a Hispanic born in 2006 can expect to live about 80 years and seven months, for whites that’s 78 years and blacks just about 73 years.

Some experts say that the longevity of subsequent generations of Hispanics and children of immigrants may actually decrease due to some of the lifestyle choices in the U.S. such as smoking and fast-food diets.

“The American lifestyle is very sedentary. That’s not a good thing,” Jane Delgado, president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, said.  The group focuses on improving health services for Hispanics.

But the report should at least dispel the belief that whites are the longest-living group of Americans, says Delgado.

The Monitor