Latinos age slower than other ethnic groups, UCLA study says staff KABC logo
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

LOS ANGELES, California -- Latinos age at a slower rate than other ethnic groups, according to a new study recently released by UCLA.

A team of researchers studied DNA samples from nearly 6,000 people using several biomarkers to examine a link to aging.

According to the study, when scientists accounted for differences in cell composition, the blood of Latinos aged more slowly.

"Latinos live longer than Caucasians, despite experiencing higher rates of diabetes and other diseases. Scientists refer to this as the 'Hispanic paradox,'" Steve Horvath, the study's lead author and a professor at UCLA said. "Our study helps explain this by demonstrating that Latinos age more slowly at the molecular level."

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in the United States, Latinos live an average of three years longer than Caucasians, with a life expectancy of 82 versus 79.

So what causes Latinos to age slower?

"Our findings strongly suggest that genetic or environmental factors linked to ethnicity may influence how quickly a person ages and how long they live," Horvath explained.

Up next, UCLA researchers plan to identify the molecular mechanism that protects Latinos from aging.