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Aims: To compare age-adjusted injury mortality rates between Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) Hispanics, Texas Hispanics and Texas Whites. Methods: Using data from the Texas Department of Health, we examined deaths from injuries including: motor vehicle accidents, homicide, and suicide from 1980 through 1998. Results: Injury deaths are the fourth leading cause of death in Texas. Mortality rates for all-cause injuries among LRGV Hispanics were 25% lower than rates among Texas Whites. Traffic accident mortality were quite similar among the study groups. From 1980, the average mortality from traffic accidents per 100,000 persons was 21.9 among Whites and 27.2 among LRGV Hispanics; in 1998 the respective rates were 19.3 and 15.2. Mortality from homicide is higher among Texas Hispanics than among Texas Whites and LRGV Hispanics. Although rates have been declining among all groups, Texas Hispanics still have approximately 3 times the homicide mortality as Texas Whites and LRGV Hispanics. In 1980, LRGV Hispanics had 25% more homicides than did Texas Whites and in 1998, they had 80% more homicide deaths. Suicide death rates are highest among Texas Whites and are similar among Texas and LRGV Hispanics. Hispanics experience half the suicide deaths as Texas Whites. However, suicide deaths have decreased nearly 10% among Texas Whites, nearly 20% among Texas Hispanics, and have remained constant among LRGV Hispanics. Over the study period, the difference in mortality has declined, primarily due to decreases in changes favorable to Texas Whites and unfavorable to LRGV Hispanics.


Presented at the American Public Health Association's 129th Meeting, Atlanta, GA, October 21-25, 2001.

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