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Latino Daily News

Monday January 17, 2011

Hispanic Health Paradox: Hispanic Border Residents Living Longer than Most other Texans or Americans

A recent study by the University of Washington Institute for Health has uncovered a Hispanic health paradox:  the longest lives in Texas are being lived by Hispanic residents in border cities that exist with low income, lack of insurance and chronic illness.

The predominantly Hispanic residents of border counties are living to be 80 years old, which is two years more than the average American or Texan in general.  The study points out that though this population segment is living longer it is not necessarily living well.  The region is plagued with high rates of obesity, diabetes and kidney disease.

Residents and local health care providers at border counties attribute the low-cost, low-fat Mexican food like pinto beans, roasted chicken and chilies.  Many grow their own food to save money and most are employed in physically demanding jobs like farm work, construction and grounds keeping.

Then there is the cultural attributes the border residents share that do not put their elderly in nursing homes which many believe prolongs their life and a life steeped in church and faith based activities.