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April 27, 1994

Mortality Among Hispanics

Author Affiliations

University of Texas Medical School Houston

JAMA. 1994;271(16):1237. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510400023016

To the Editor.  —Sorlie et al1 have highlighted an important issue in Hispanic health: the interaction between genetics and environment and the overall mortality of Hispanics.2 Nevertheless, we would like to raise several issues regarding sampling, potential misclassification, and the analytic plan. It would have helped to describe the geographic distribution of the population sampled in this article. It appears the study may have undersampled Hispanics in that only 5.7% of the sample were Hispanics, whereas in the US populations their proportion is 8.3%.3 To what extent did the survey sample Hispanics without telephones and those who are migrant farmworkers?Misclassification of vital status could be introduced by the reliance on the Social Security number. An Hispanic may have no number, a correct number, a friend's number, or a random number obtained in an unofficial identification card shop. Persons go to the latter to obtain an unofficial

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