Life expectancy at birth is 2.5 years longer than whites, 7.7 years longer than blacks, study shows
By JoNel Aleccia Health writer
Hispanic people in the United States live nearly three years longer than the population overall, say researchers who’ve released the first government study to confirm extended life expectancy in the nation’s largest minority group.
At birth, Hispanics can expect to live 80.6 years; that’s about 2.5 years longer than the non-Hispanic white population and about 7.7 years longer than blacks. Overall, the life expectancy for the total population was 77.7 years, according to 2006 data used in a report issued Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics.The longer lifespan is apparent despite well-documented health risks for Hispanics, including higher rates of obesity and diabetes and lower levels of education, income and access to health care, say researchers who have been puzzling over what’s known as “the Hispanic paradox” for years.
“The reason that it’s paradoxical is we know that mortality is highly correlated with socio-economic status,” said Elizabeth Arias, the NCHS demographer who led the study. “With this population, that is not the case. The advantage we see must be explained by something else.”
Exactly what that might be isn’t clear. Researchers have suggested that the extended longevity may be the result of migration habits: Hispanics who come to the U.S. may be healthier than those who stay home, and older, sicker Hispanics may be more likely to return to their country of origin.
Sociologists also have suggested that social factors such as strong family bonds could boost lifespan. Others have argued that health habits, including a simple diet and much lower rates of smoking, could account for the difference. But, as of yet, there’s no proof, Arias said.
“There is no conclusive evidence to support any hypotheses that have been proposed,” she said.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
WINTERSBURG, Ariz. — Authorities are investigating a suspicious package that was found early Wednesday at a nuclear power plant west of Phoenix.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s spokesman Brian Lee says security officers at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station called them at about 5 a.m. after they found the suspicious package. A second call initially led to confusion that a second device may have been found, but that was quickly discounted.
Lee says a sheriff’s bomb squad is investigating.
A spokesman for plant operator Arizona Public Service Co. says security guards found the suspicious package during a search of a vehicle at a checkpoint about a mile from the plant.
The plant is operating normally, but traffic in and out is stopped.
(UPDATE) Deputy: Smoke flare likely nuke plant scare cause
TheState.com (South Carolina’s Homepage)
WINTERSBURG, Ariz. — A device that caused the entrance to a nuclear power plant west of Phoenix to be closed appears to be a smoke flare used in firefighter training, authorities said.
The device was found under the seat of an employee’s car at a security checkpoint a mile from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station at about daybreak on Wednesday, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Brian Lee said. At first glance, it looked like a stick of dynamite, so plant security closed the checkpoint to traffic as a precaution.
Power plant operations weren’t affected and the checkpoint was reopened after about three hours.
The employee was questioned but Lee says she was not arrested. An official with plant operator Arizona Public Service Co. said the issue will likely be handled as an internal matter.
The device was 4 to 6 inches long and had a fuse attached, said Bob Bement, the vice president for nuclear operations at APS. Lee said it had “smoke” written on it.
The device was detonated at another location.
Security guards at the checkpoint search every vehicle entering, said Jim McDonald, a spokesman for plant operator Arizona Public Service Co. Closing the checkpoint was standard procedure, he said, and the biggest problem was that the incident happened at shift change and traffic backed up.
A similar incident happened at the plant in November 2007 when security guards at the same checkpoint found a pipe bomb in the bed of an employee’s truck. The employee told investigators he rarely used the truck, left it parked in his apartment complex lot and didn’t know who placed it in the truck bed. He was cleared to return to work.
The triple-reactor plant 50 miles west of Phoenix is the nation’s largest nuclear power facility. It is owned by APS and a consortium of western power companies.