Asthma Mortality in U.S. Hispanics of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban Heritage, 1990-1995

Published in: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, v. 161, no. 2, Feb. 2000

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2000

by David M. Homa, David M. Mannino, Marielena Lara

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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.

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