Hispanic Hospitalization and Mortality: Evidence from New Jersey

Katherine Hempstead, Rutgers University

Hispanics in New Jersey have low mortality rates for many major causes of death. This pattern has been widely observed, and attributed to under-reporting on death certificates and/or selective migration. However, hospitalization rates for diagnoses related to these causes of death are higher among Hispanics, particularly among those aged over 65 years. I examine this seemingly paradoxical pattern by linking hospital discharge and death data for several major causes of admission. Hospitalized cohorts and followed for twelve months. Cox proportional hazards models are employed to estimate the probability of re-hospitalization and/or death. Preliminary findings suggest that the probability of re-hospitalization is higher among Hispanics, while the probability of mortality is lower. These results suggest the inconsistency between hospitalization and death rates among Hispanics is not a data artifact, but factors such as differential disease processes, differential access to outpatient care, or potentially, selective outmigration of Hispanics in poor health.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health, Mortality, Aging, Biology