Neighborhood Disadvantage and Mortality: New Insights for Racial and Ethnic Differences
Jarron M. Saint Onge, University of Kansas
Jeffrey A. Dennis, University of Texas of the Permian Basin
We use the National Health Interview Survey linked to prospective mortality and residential characteristics of respondent’s neighborhoods to examine the association between neighborhood concentrated disadvantage, race/ethnicity, and mortality. We find that foreign born Hispanics have the lowest risks of all-cause mortality and that increased disadvantage at the neighborhood level predicts increased mortality risk, after accounting for important socioeconomic and other characteristics of adults. However, racial and ethnic minority status conditions the association of neighborhood disadvantage for mortality. More disadvantaged neighborhoods are associated with increased mortality risks for whites and decreased risk for blacks, U.S. born Hispanics, and foreign born Hispanics. The findings lend insight into the pervasive mortality disparities among blacks and whites and suggest that the Hispanic paradox might be related to the selective segregation of Hispanics into communities that are traditionally considered wholly disadvantaged but which might hold special social capital building properties that protect the health of residents.