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Why Do Hispanics Live Longer?

Hispanics live longer and suffer less heart disease than their white counterparts. They also have lower cancer rates, according to a new report.

What is sometimes referred to as the “Hispanic Paradox,” is actually not surprising at all.

There appears to be many reasons for longevity.

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For one, they smoke less. Only 14% of Hispanics smoke compared to 24% of whites.

But I think cultural reasons are more important. Hispanics seem to have a better sense of community and family. This type of nurturing environment is undoubtedly better for health.

Additionally, Hispanics appear to be under less stress.

Maybe they have different values than the rest of the money-driven society. They clearly put family above material items.

Living in Arizona, I know many Hispanic people. I have asked them about these findings. They point to “home remedies,” close family bonds, and a sense of community. They deny frequent use of antibiotics or OTC drugs like Tylenol and Advil.

Better health and longevity despite worse access to medical care according to a new report. But does the lack of health care actually improve health outcomes? Are Hispanics avoiding pharmaceuticals and potentially dangerous procedures?

Hispanics are more likely than whites to die from diabetes, homicide, or chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, and are more likely to be obese.

The good news is that Hispanics have an overall 24 percent lower death rate than whites, as well as lower death rates for nine of the 15 leading causes of death. These include cancer, heart disease, injuries, stroke, respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease and suicide.

Hispanics have much less access to health care than whites. They are almost three times as likely to be uninsured as whites, the CDC found, and are less likely to have had screening tests for breast, cervical and colon cancer.

Nearly one in six people living in the United States is Hispanic — almost 57 million people — and this is projected to increase to nearly one in four (more than 85 million) by 2035.

Compared to whites, Hispanics are:

23 percent more likely to be obese,
51 percent more likely to die from diabetes,
48 percent more likely to die from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis,
96 percent more likely to become a homicide victim.
The researchers found that Hispanics born in the United States tend to be in worse health than foreign-born Hispanics now living here. U.S.-born Hispanics have 30 percent more obesity than immigrant Hispanics, 40 percent more high blood pressure, 72 percent more smoking, 89 percent more heart disease and 93 percent more cancer. This is not a genetic issue where Hispanics have better genes than whites.

There is room for everyone to improve. Here is an action plan:

1) Get rid of sugar and grain to reduce obesity and diabetes rates. Cut back on rice, corn, and beans.

2) Increase physical activity. Stand more, walk more, bike more, lift more.

3) Get the stress out of your life. Learn to relax through deep breathing and meditation

4) Go to sleep with the sundown and awake with the sunrise

5) Cut out the alcohol.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm64e0505a1.htm?s_cid=mm64e0505a1_w

 

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