Borchardt Consulting

Latino Paradox?

Posted on: August 16, 2011

The Huffington Post has a good article on what is referred to as the “Latino Paradox”.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/11/latino-health-a-mystery_n_924820.html

According to the Huffington article, Infant mortality has received a bit more attention than lifespan because the data has long been available, and because the United States’ infant mortality rate ranking is 177th in the world, worse than the United Kingdom, Slovenia and Monaco.

Nationally, the white infant mortality rate was 5.6 per 1,000 births in 2007, the most recent year for which data are available. White Americans also have the nation’s highest average income and education levels, markers usually associated with good health.

Average Latino education and income levels are closer to those of African Americans. But the difference between the infant mortality rate for most Latinos (Puerto Ricans are the exception) and the black rate is vast. There were 5.5 per 1,000 Latino infants born in 2007 who died before their first birthday. That same year, 13.3 per 1,000 black children died in their first year.

There has not been enough research done on this particular area. Speculation is that the healthy diet of Mexican rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in fast food and the tight family structure may play a significant role in the lower infant mortality.

However, infant deaths do still occur within the Mexican population. As educators, it is our role to train new parents and caregivers in the most recent news in infant safety while being culturally sensitive.

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