Latinos Live Longer when Diagnosed with Cancer, Heart Disease, HIV

John Ruiz, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of North Texas, Department of Psychology, headed new research which supports the existence of the pseudo-mythical “Hispanic paradox,” a debatable phenomenon where poor Latinos experience health that’s comparable or better than other ethnicities. The Journal of “Endocrinology and Metabolism” published a new study about poor minority patients being more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage thyroid cancer and living longer, which supports Ruiz’s finding.
Data collected from previous health studies indicated that study participants who were Hispanic experienced significantly higher survival rates for conditions such as heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and afflictions such as diabetes, kidney disease, lupus and strokes. The Journal of “Endocrinology and Metabolism” study established that all racial groups not only suffered more advanced stages of disease when diagnosed, compared to their wealthier counterparts, but also fared much worse than non-whites in general. However, when Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander patients were diagnosed with thyroid cancer, it was detected in more advanced stages and patients survived longer than all other racial and ethnic groups.
“Although the evidence is not yet in, there is speculation that factors that promote close social relationships may be important,” explained Ruiz to VOXXI. “For example, Hispanic cultural values such as simpatia (importance of displaying kindness and maintaining interpersonal harmony), familismo (importance of keeping warm family relationships), and personalismo (valuing and building warm relationships) may help to build strong social support itself, [which] is associated with better health and lower mortality risk.”
The study indicated that there was an overall morality advantage, and that up to 25 percent more Hispanics in the heart disease group were likely to be alive at the conclusion of the research when compared to other ethnic groups.

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