Long-Lived Hispanics!

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Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy blog pulls together a fascinating set of links and observations regarding an obscure but interesting (at least I never heard it–feel free to upbraid me for behind-the-times ignorance) demographic fact: that in America, "foreign-born Mexican and Other Hispanic adult[s]…experienc[e] mortality rates that are 35% to 47% lower than those experienced by non-Hispanic whites…these differences translate into approximately five to eight years of additional life expectancy at age 45." Apparently, there's no settled theory explaining this that's totally convincing–though these results may also be merely "due to data problems and differing methodologies." Following all the links and arguments in the post provides a demo-fabulous time for all.

NEXT: My Big Fat Hatred of My Big Fat Greek Wedding

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  1. I actually read about this recently on a Slate piece by terminal Bush-knocker William Saletan where it was pointed out inconsistencies in Bush speeches to Black & Hispanic audiences. I had a hard time spotting the problem Saletan has but you can read for yourself at:http://slate.msn.com/id/2114957/

    It also says that Asian’s live longer too.

  2. Here’s my guess: Infant mortality is higher and general living conditions harsher in the Hispanic immigrant countries of origin. Thus, those who survive to immigrate to the US are, as a group, “tougher” than those born and raised here.

  3. Infant mortality is higher and general living conditions harsher in the Hispanic immigrant countries of origin. Thus, those who survive to immigrate to the US are, as a group, “tougher” than those born and raised here.

    Whoa, Jimmy the Greek’s back from the dead!

  4. By liberal logic, Hispanics are somehow oppressing Anglos. We can’t see where, or how, and certainly cannot prove it…but the fact they live longer shows they are racist.

  5. I thought the mortality rate for all races was 100%,It’s plain unfair that some hispanics get to be immortal, probably vampires if you ask me.

  6. Whoa, Jimmy the Greek’s back from the dead!

    Many people have made similar points to those the other poster made. Those who come here illegally across our deserts are self-selected for a form of entrepreneurship and physical ability. Gotta shave those two cents off the cost of a head of lettuce otherwise America will tank.

  7. I wasn’t making any claims about the genes of Hispanic immigrants, Tim, or their “moral fiber” for that matter. I was merely noting that people born in the U.S. who die young would likely have died even younger had they been born in another country.

  8. My joke wasn’t about political correctness; it was about science: Natural selection takes place on too large a scale, and genetic selection in humans on too complicated a scale, to support the claim you’re making.

    You may be able to eat ’em, but that don’t mean people are Brussels Sprouts.

  9. “It’s plain unfair that some hispanics get to be immortal, probably vampires if you ask me.”

    I think that’s what they call a “Chupacabra”.

  10. I’ve gotta believe it’s the diet. I spent a year working for a women’s shelter in a blighted inner-city neighborbood; the black and white residents there had a very high incidence of diabetes, heart disease and other maladies that are directly related to lifestyle. It was damn near impossible to try to get them to take any responsibility for their health or make any changes to their diet. They didn’t see a point when they could just take insulin injections 1x – 4x daily, or take a cholestral-lowering drug — of course all paid for by Medicaid.

    When I’d go shopping at the only grocery store there, I made it a habit to watch people’s buying habits. Probably 95% of area residents were on food stamps. The cashiers damn near panicked when someone pulled out cash, which only happened 3 or 4 times in my 200 visits to that store. Black and white customers bought processed food exclusively — chips, snack cakes, frozen chicken wings, etc. The hispanic customers loaded their baskets with fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, and ground beef, along with some canned foods. Their stamps went much further. They also frequented the wonderful farmer’s market in town. I tried to organize the residents for a field trip to the market, to show them how to maximize their buying power, but nobody ever wanted to get up that early on a Saturday morning.

    It was an eye-opening experience for me, and exorcised the last of my liberal tendencies.

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