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Connecticut Latinos: Lower age-adjusted death but higher premature mortality rates compared with white residents

Margaret M. Hynes, PhD, MPH, Lloyd M. Mueller, PhD, Heping Li, PhD, and Federico Amadeo, MPA. Health Care Quality, Health Statistics & Analysis, Connecticut Department of Public Health, 410 Capitol Avenue, MS#13PPE, P.O. Box 340308, Hartford, CT 06134-0308, (860)509-7135, margaret.hynes@po.state.ct.us

Latino residents of Connecticut have lower age-adjusted all-cause mortality compared with white residents, a trend that parallels comparable U.S. figures. Connecticut Latinos, however, have significantly higher age-adjusted premature mortality to age 75, as measured by age-adjusted years of potential life lost (YPLL), compared with their white counterparts. Examination of the Latino-white mortality disparity also reveals statistically significant differences by gender and age. Causes of death that contribute to higher age-specific and premature mortality among Latinos will be discussed. YPLL, a measure of premature mortality that emphasizes deaths in younger age groups, is an important tool for assessing health disparities across populations. Assessment of age-specific mortality differences is another key component in explaining overall racial and ethnic disparities that may not be uniform across all ages. Data are from the Connecticut Death Registry, which includes all deaths of Connecticut residents. Race/ethnicity differences in age-adjusted mortality (AAMR) and YPLL rates (standardized to the 2000 U.S. standard million) and age-specific rates were evaluated for the time periods 1989-1991, 1996-1998, and 2000-2002. An evaluation of between-group differences was conducted using standard statistical methods. These findings are discussed in relation to national studies showing that Latinos have lower age-adjusted mortality from all causes relative to non-Latino whites. Latinos also have a lower socioeconomic profile compared with whites, which would presumably predispose them to higher mortality rates at any age. This phenomenon of lower age-adjusted mortality and lower socioeconomic profile among Latinos has been referred to as the “Latino Mortality Paradox.”

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to