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The Latino adolescent male mortality peak revisited: attribution of homicide and motor vehicle crash death
  1. Federico E Vaca1,2,
  2. Craig L Anderson2,
  3. David E Hayes-Bautista3
  1. 1Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  2. 2University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, Center for Trauma and Injury Prevention Research, Orange, California, USA
  3. 3University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Federico E Vaca Professor of Emergency Medicine, Yale University, Department of Emergency Medicine, 464 Congress Avenue, Suite 260, New Haven, CT 06519; federico.vaca{at}


Objective The Latino Epidemiologic Paradox describes favourable health profiles for Latinos compared to non-Latino whites despite poverty, low education, and low access to healthcare. The objective of this study was to determine if the anomaly to the Latino Epidemiological Paradox and the Latino Adolescent Male Mortality Peak in California mortality data persists.

Methods Cases were California residents (1999–2006) of any race and ethnicity that died (N=1 866 743) in California from any cause of death. Mortality rates and rate ratios were calculated according to causes of death for 5 year age groups.

Results For males and females combined, age adjusted mortality rates were 509 for Latinos and 681 for non-Latino whites per 100 000/year. Latino male mortality rate ratios exceeded 1.0 compared to non-Latino white males only for age groups 15–19 years (1.41, 95% CI 1.35 to 1.49) and 20–24 years (1.24, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.29). Latinas had lower mortality rates than non-Latino white females for all ages over 15 years. Male homicide rates for Latinos increased over the study period, but did not reach the rates reported for the years 1989–1997. Both male homicide and motor vehicle crash mortality rates were higher for Latinos than non-Latino whites and peaked at 20–24 years. The Latino crash mortality rate exceeded the rate for non-Latino whites overall and for each year 2003–2006. Crash mortality for males aged 15–24 years increased from 2000 to 2006.

Conclusion The anomaly and the mortality peak persist, with notable attribution to homicide and crashes. Without homicide, the mortality peak would not exist. Mortality disparities for Latino adolescent males from these two causes of death in California appear to be growing.

  • Anomaly
  • disparity
  • injury
  • latino
  • paradox
  • adolescent
  • homicide
  • MVTC
  • public health, race

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  • Funding The project described was supported by Grant Number K23HD050630 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the University of California, Irvine.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.