Nov 20, 2008
Published in: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, v. 161, no. 2, Feb. 2000
Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1999
The authors used national vital statistics data for 1990 through 1995 to examine both national and regional age-adjusted asthma mortality rates for U.S. Hispanics of Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican heritage, as well as for non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks. Nationally, Puerto Ricans had an age-adjusted annual asthma mortality rate of 40.9 per million, followed by Cuban-Americans (15.8 per million) and Mexican-Americans (9.2 per million). In comparison, non-Hispanic whites had an age-adjusted annual asthma mortality rate of 14.7 per million and non-Hispanic blacks had a rate of 38.1 per million. Age-adjusted asthma mortality for Puerto Ricans was highest in the Northeast (47.8 per million); this region accounted for 81% of all asthma deaths among Puerto Ricans in the United States. In the U.S., Puerto Ricans had the highest asthma mortality rates among Hispanics, followed by Cuban-Americans and Mexican-Americans. In addition, among Hispanic national groups, mortality rates were consistently higher in the Northeast than the Midwest, South, or West regions. These results further support that Hispanics do not represent a uniform, discrete group in terms of health outcomes, and that further public health research and interventions should take Hispanic national origin into account.