Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, gbaa158


Accepted manuscript.

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.


Objectives: This brief report aims to highlight stark mortality disparities among older Latinos that result from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Methods: We use recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to compute age-specific death rates (ASDRs) for three causes of death: deaths from COVID-19, residual deaths, and total deaths for four age-groups (55-64, 65-74, 75-84, and 85 and older) to assess the impact of COVID-19 on older Latino mortality relative to non-Latino Whites and non-Latino Blacks and also in comparison to residual deaths. Additionally, we obtain ASDRs for all causes of deaths from 1999 to 2018 to provide a pre-pandemic context and assess the extent to which the consistently observed mortality advantage of Latinos persists during the pandemic.

Results: Consistent with previous research, our findings show that Latinos have lower ASDRs for non-COVID-19 causes of death across all age groups compared to non-Latino Whites. However, our findings indicate that Latinos have significantly higher ASDRs for COVID-19 deaths than non-Latino Whites. Furthermore, although the Latino advantage for total deaths persists during the pandemic, it has diminished significantly compared to the 1999-2018 period.

Discussion: Our findings indicate that as a result of the pandemic, the time-tested Latino paradox has rapidly diminished due to higher COVID-19 mortality among older Latino adults compared to non-Latino Whites. Future research should continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 to assess the disparate impact of the pandemic on older Black, Latino and non-Latino White adults as additional data become available.