The Latino paradox | Arkansas Blog

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Latino paradox

Posted By on Mon, Aug 28, 2006 at 6:05 AM

You've heard of the French paradox -- red wine and goose liver are good for you. Now try the Latino paradox. 

Why Latinos aren't sicker — a phenomenon known to health experts as the Latino paradox — is puzzling to public health experts, given the link between disadvantage and high disease and mortality rates.

In overall mortality rates and infant mortality rates, two standard measures of a population's health, Latinos' numbers approach and sometimes surpass those of whites. ..

The reasons for the paradox are a matter of some debate. Some scholars attribute it to immigration, which may draw selectively from the ranks of the hale and hardy.

Another possibility is that many immigrants return to their home countries when seriously ill, skewing mortality statistics in this country.

But increasingly, researchers are suggesting that such factors as diet, lifestyle choices and strong social support networks are the key to Latinos' better-than-expected health.

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