Friday, January 22, 2016

Even Among Centenarians, Hispanics Less Likely to Die

There were 72,197 people aged 100 or older in the United States in 2014, reports the National Center for Health Statistics in an analysis of centenarian mortality. The 2014 death rate in this oldest age group was a substantial 35.9 per 100 centenarians. In other words, more than one-third did not make it through the year. But the death rate varies by race and Hispanic origin...

Deaths per 100 centenarians by race and Hispanic origin
Hispanics: 22.3
Non-Hispanic Blacks: 28.6
Non-Hispanic Whites: 39.3

Among centenarians, Hispanics have a lower death rate than Blacks and a strikingly lower death rate than non-Hispanic Whites. This Hispanic advantage is also found among those younger than 100-plus. It's a phenomenon called the "Hispanic paradox." Hispanics have lower mortality rates and a longer life expectancy than others despite their lower socioeconomic status. The Hispanic advantage is due to lower mortality from a variety of leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, and Alzheimer's, according to an NCHS analysis. These diseases are also leading causes of death among centenarians. Consequently, even in the oldest age group, Hispanics are less likely to die.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Mortality Among Centenarians in the United States, 2000-2014

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