Healthy Hispanic adults live longer than other ethnicities, study says

LOS ANGELES, ACCRA,
Aug. 17 – (UPI/GNA) – Despite higher rates of diabetes and other diseases,
Hispanic people live longer than other ethnicities, according to researchers in
Los Angeles.

Researchers at the
University of California Los Angeles report the blood of Hispanics ages slower
than that of white people, as well as most other ethnicities, which researchers
said may help inform other studies of aging and disease.

Men’s blood and
brain tissue also ages faster than that of women in the same ethnic group,
researchers also found, which may help explain why women have a higher life
expectancy than men, according to the study, published in the journal Genome
Biology.

The findings may
help explain several controversial epidemiological paradoxes, researchers write
in the study, including the Hispanic paradox — living longer despite higher
rates of certain diseases — as well as the black-white mortality cross-over,
the Tsimane inflammation paradox and the sex morbidity-mortality paradox.

“Our findings
strongly suggest that genetic or environmental factors linked to ethnicity may
influence how quickly a person ages and how long they live,” Dr. Steve
Horvath, a professor of human genetics at UCLA’s David Geffen School of
Medicine, said in a press release.

For the study,
researchers analyzed DNA from blood, saliva and lymphoblastoid cell lines, as
well as brain datasets, for 1,387 people of African ancestry from both the
United States and from Central Africa, 2,932 non-Hispanic white people, 657
Hispanic people, 127 East Asians who were mainly Han Chinese and 59 Tsimane
Amerindians who live in Bolivia. The researchers also used an epigentic clock
developed by Horvath to track aging in the genome.

The researchers
report their analysis confirms the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s estimates that Hispanics live about three years longer than white
people.

When comparing the
Tsimane population, the researchers found their blood aged about two years
slower than Hispanic people’s blood and four years slower than that of white
people. The researchers say this understanding helps inform the Tsimane
inflammation paradox, which notes that despite high levels of inflammation and
infection, the Tsimane show little evidence of chronic diseases often linked to
either.

The black-white
mortality crossover — that after age 85, black men and women have a pattern of
lower mortality that white people, despite higher patterns at younger ages —
was not explained by the study, though the researchers say other differences in
blood and cell aging may have something to do with it.

In terms of the sex
morbitity-mortality paradox, the researchers say the new study suggests the
paradox is not simply related to differences in lifestyle between the sexes and
may also have a physiological explanation.

Overall, the
researchers say they did not find great variation in the pace of aging between
ethnicities — aside from confirming the Hispanic Paradox.

“Latinos live
longer than Caucasians, despite experiencing higher rates of diabetes and other
diseases. Scientists refer to this as the ‘Hispanic paradox,'” Horvath
said. “Our study helps explain this by demonstrating that Latinos age more
slowly at the molecular level.”

GNA

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