Paradox Lost (over Time)? Duration of Stay and Adult Mortality among Major Hispanic Immigrant Groups in the United States

Fernando Riosmena, University of Colorado at Boulder
Richard G. Rogers, University of Colorado at Boulder
Jeffrey A. Dennis, University of Texas of the Permian Basin

This paper compares mortality risks for Hispanic immigrants according to their level of exposure to U.S. society using data from the 1998 through 2004 National Health Interview Survey-Linked Mortality File. We find that Hispanic immigrants with the lowest levels of U.S. experience have lower mortality than those with the highest durations of stay and that these effects seem to be stronger for Cubans and “Other Hispanics” than for Mexicans. On the other hand, we also find that those individuals who naturalized as U.S. citizens or are living in households where only English was used to answer the NHIS questionnaire have lower mortality than those who have not naturalized or are living in households where at least part of the NHIS questionnaire was used. These findings suggest that duration effects may not tell a simple acculturation story and that additional measures of acculturation must be included to fully inform the Hispanic Health Paradox.

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Presented in Session 153: Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Differentials in Health and Mortality