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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Chicano Health Demographics
Program #

Armando Gutiérrez
Romeo Rodríguez
Mar 15, 1979

Chicano Health Demographics

Romeo Rodriguez, assistant instructor of Chicano Studies at UT-Austin, discusses his research on the mortality rate of Chicanos in comparison to Anglos and African Americans. Rodriguez seeks to understand how ethnicity and socioeconomic factors account for death rates and by extension the overall health of Chicanos.

Most of the literature on mortality focuses on the disparities between blacks and whites because for a long time Chicano vital statistics were classified under the information for whites. Rodriguez explains that this categorization is inappropriate because it artificially increases the death rate for Anglos and thus decreases the gap between the mortality of blacks and whites. Moreover, socioeconomic factors are a major contributor to mortality rates, and Chicanos and Anglos do not have the same socioeconomic level.

Rodriguez then discusses some of his findings, including the staggering statistic that the death rate among Chicanas was 140% higher than for Anglo women. Rodriguez also discusses how his research reveals differences in life spans between Anglos and Chicanos and men and women and he discusses some of the more prevalent causes of death. Rodriguez explains we need more research on the mortality and morbidity of Chicanos so that we can begin to identify how to better meet Chicano health care needs.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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