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CDC: Hispanics in U.S. live 2 years longer than whites

By Danielle Haynes
CDC: Hispanics in U.S. live 2 years longer than whites
The CDC found that on average Hispanics live two years longer than whites despite higher levels of poverty and less health insurance. File photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

ATLANTA, May 5 (UPI) -- Hispanics on average live two years longer than white people in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in its first nationwide study of the demographic's health.

The report, released Tuesday, found that overall, Hispanic people have a 25 percent lower mortality rate than the white population despite being less likely to have health insurance and more likely to live in poverty.

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Hispanic populations are less likely to die from the 10 leading cause of death for whites, but had higher death rates from diabetes, and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. These two diseases account for the top five and six causes of death for Hispanics, while cancer, heart disease, unintentional injuries and stroke account for the top four causes of death.

"Four out of 10 Hispanics die of heart disease or cancer. By not smoking and staying physically active, such as walking briskly for 30 minutes a day, Hispanics can reduce their risk for these chronic diseases and others such as diabetes," CDC Director Tom Frieden said. "Health professionals can help Hispanics protect their health by learning about their specific risk factors and addressing barriers to care."

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About 14 percent of Hispanics smoke, down from 24 percent among whites, though Puerto Rican males and Cuban males show higher numbers at 26 percent and 22 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, Hispanics are three times as likely to be uninsured as white people and on average are nearly 15 years younger than whites.

"This report reinforces the need to sustain strong community, public health, and health care linkages that support Hispanic health," said CDC Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Equity, Leandris C. Liburd.

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