Hypothesized Explanations for the Observed Lung Cancer Survival Benefit Among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States

Emily Miao, Madelyn Klugman, Thomas Rohan, H. Dean Hosgood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hispanic/Latino ethnicity is associated with improved survival from non-small cell lung cancer compared to that for non-Hispanic Whites even though Hispanics/Latinos are more likely to potentially have inferior access-to-care and experience greater health disparities. To this end, we conducted a literature review to identify possible explanations for this survival benefit, including the role of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular diseases, genetic variation, cultural influences, and immigration factors. Overall, intermittent smoking patterns, genetic variation, co-morbidities, and cultural influences were all factors likely to partially explain this survival benefit. On the other hand, immigration factors, acculturation, and access-to-care were less likely to support the survival advantage. Future research should analyze relevant Hispanic/Latino subgroups (e.g., Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central American, South American) and specifically focus on the relationship between Hispanic/Latino ethnicity and different lung cancer subtypes. If the Hispanic/Latino mortality benefit observed in lung cancer truly exists, a better understanding of the underlying mechanism(s) may help extend these benefits to other ethnic and racial groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Hispanics
  • Lung cancer
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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