Latinos Age More Slowly Than White or Black Americans

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As the U.S. population ages, and the burden on Social Security and medical facilities grows, one of the most important questions is where and when many older Americans will need care. Among the answers to these questions is that Latinos age more slowly that white Americans or black Americans.

According to a paper published in Genome Biology titled “An Epigenetic Clock Analysis of Race/Ethnicity, Sex and Coronary Heart Disease,” of which Steve Horvath was the primary author:

Epigenetic biomarkers of aging (the “epigenetic clock”) have the potential to address puzzling findings surrounding mortality rates and incidence of cardio-metabolic disease such as: (1) women consistently exhibiting lower mortality than men despite having higher levels of morbidity; (2) racial/ethnic groups having different mortality rates even after adjusting for socioeconomic differences; (3) the black/white mortality cross-over effect in late adulthood; and (4) Hispanics in the United States having a longer life expectancy than Caucasians despite having a higher burden of traditional cardio-metabolic risk factors.

According to a Pew study in 2013, this Hispanic population (slightly different from Latinos):

Today, the 100 largest counties by Hispanic population contain 71% of all Hispanics. Los Angeles County, CA alone contains 4.9 million Hispanics, or 9% of the nation’s Hispanic population.


Half (52%) of those counties are in three states—California, Texas and Florida. Along with Arizona, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey and Illinois, these eight states contain three-quarters (74%) of the nation’s Latino population. But with the dispersal of the U.S. Latino population across the country, this share too is down from 79% in 2000 and 84% in 1990.

Whether this means a modest shift in medical resources is hard to say.

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