Infant Mortality and the Hispanic Paradox: A Meta-Analysis

Jamie Chatman, Rice University
Katharine M. Donato, Vanderbilt University
Rudy Guerra, Rice University

This paper reports on a meta-analysis of infant mortality to shed light on the Hispanic Paradox. We identified 33 relevant papers on infant mortality published between 1975 and 2005. Each study analyzed infant mortality by U.S. race/ethnic groups. Meta-analysis resulted in a risk ratio of 1.07 (1.03- 1.12, 95% CI) for Hispanics to Whites; 2.07 (1.96- 2.19) for Blacks to Hispanics; 2.26 (2.18 – 2.35) for Blacks to Whites. Overall, these findings suggest that Blacks are approximately twice as likely as Hispanics and Whites to experience infant mortality, and that among Hispanics the risk of infant death is lower than expected given their greater socioeconomic disadvantage over Whites. This appears to be the first meta-analysis study to address the Hispanic Paradox and infant mortality.

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Presented in Session 148: Paradox of Better Health and Lower Mortality among Immigrants