LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Latinos age at a slower rate than other ethnic groups, despite having a higher susceptibility to some diseases, according to a UCLA study released Tuesday, Aug. 16.
The findings, published in the current issue of Genome Biology, may one day help scientists understand how to slow the aging process for everyone.
“Latinos live longer than Caucasians, despite experiencing higher rates of diabetes and other diseases,” said Steve Horvath, lead author of the study and a professor of human genetics at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. “Scientists refer to this as the ‘Hispanic paradox.’”
Latinos face higher risks of cardiovascular diseases because of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, yet Latinos in the U.S. live an average of three years longer than Caucasians, with a life expectancy of 82 versus 79, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At any age, healthy Latino adults face a 30 percent lower risk of death than other racial groups, according to a 2013 study in the American Journal of Public Health that was cited by the UCLA researchers.
They said the slower aging rate for Latinos helps neutralize their higher health risks, especially those related to obesity and inflammation.
“Our findings strongly suggest that genetic or environmental factors linked to ethnicity may influence how quickly a person ages and how long they live,” Horvath said.