Hispanic and immigrant paradoxes in U.S. Breast cancer mortality: Impact of neighborhood poverty and hispanic density

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6 Scopus citations


To test the Hispanic and Immigrant Paradoxes—i.e., survival advantages despite a worse risk factor profile—and the modifying role of neighborhood context, we examined associations between patient ethnicity, birthplace, neighborhood Hispanic density and neighborhood poverty among 166,254 female breast cancer patients diagnosed 1995–2009 in Texas, U.S. Of all, 79.9% were non-Hispanic White, 15.8% Hispanic U.S.-born, and 4.2% Hispanic foreign-born. We imputed birthplace for the 60.7% of Hispanics missing birthplace data using multiple imputation. Shared frailty Cox proportional hazard models (patients nested within census tracts) adjusted for age, diagnosis year, stage, grade, histology, urban/rural residence, and local mammography capacity. Whites (vs. U.S.-born Hispanics) had increased all-cause and breast cancer mortality. Foreign-born (vs. U.S.-born) Hispanics had increased all-cause and breast cancer mortality. Living in higher Hispanic density neighborhoods was generally associated with increased mortality, although associations differed slightly in magnitude and significance by ethnicity, birthplace, and neighborhood poverty. We found no evidence of an Immigrant Paradox and some evidence of a Hispanic Paradox where protective effects were limited to U.S.-born Hispanics. Contrary to prior studies, foreign birthplace and residence in higher Hispanic density neighborhoods were associated with increased mortality. More research on intersections between ethnicity, birthplace and neighborhood context are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1238
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 14 2016



  • Breast cancer
  • Disparities
  • Ethnic enclave
  • Hispanic
  • Immigration
  • Inequality
  • Neighborhoods
  • Poverty
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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