Years of potential life lost among Hispanics and non-Hispanics in Bexar County

Stephan Alonso Pope, The University of Texas School of Public Health


While numerous studies have found similar mortality rates for Hispanics compared to non-Hispanic whites, surprisingly little is known about years of potential life lost (YPLL) differentials in mortality. The primary purpose of this paper is to quantify the effect that YPLL has on Hispanics in order to determine if YPLL differs between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites. Using YPLL may bring attention to dissimilarities that are often obscured through traditional measures. Bexar County 2000-2004 data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Statistics Unit was analyzed for the descriptive analysis and 2003 Bexar County Multiple Cause Death data was analyzed for the regression analysis. The multiple regression models were used to examine Hispanic and non-Hispanic white differences in years of potential life lost (YPLL) before age 75 from all-causes of death. For this analysis, YPLL was regressed on ethnicity, education level and marital status for men and women. The descriptive analysis found YPLL from all-causes was greater among non-Hispanic whites than Hispanics. However, the regression analysis found Hispanics lost more year of potential from all-causes of death compared to non-Hispanic whites. This indicates that the effect of ethnicity on YPLL differs for different methods of analysis. Future research efforts should keep in mind the method of analysis when using YPLL. Understanding differences in mortality among Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites is important for targeting future health policies and research to aid in eliminating Hispanic health disparities.

Subject Area

Public health|Hispanic Americans

Recommended Citation

Pope, Stephan Alonso, "Years of potential life lost among Hispanics and non-Hispanics in Bexar County" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1445483.