Latinos who live in the United States but were born outside the country are less likely to have a stroke than their white peers, according to a study published in the journal Stroke, from the American Heart Association, and reported by Health Day News.  
For the study, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health followed nearly 16,000 foreign– and U.S.–born Latinos and whites older than 15. The participants were followed for a decade; the group included 1,424 Latinos and 14,360 whites older than 50 (the average age was 66) who had no history of stroke when they were enrolled in the study.  
In the follow-up period, researchers found that 1,388 of the participants suffered a first stroke. After accounting for contributing factors like socioeconomic status, researchers found that Latinos born outside the United States—those who immigrated to the United States after age 6—were 42 percent less likely than whites to have a first stroke.
While the study did not explain what factors associated with foreign birth could possibly decrease stroke rates, researchers believe that there may be two reasons. The first is cultural orientation.  
“Certain behaviors are strongly influenced childhood norms, for example, smoking and diet,” said lead study author J. Robin Moon, DPH. “So people born in a place where smoking is less common and diets include more fruits and vegetables are likely to carry those healthier behaviors with them if they immigrate in adulthood.”
The second factor may be the “Hispanic paradox.” This suggests that healthy individuals are more likely than their peers to immigrate.  
Whatever the reason, researchers are hoping to investigate further and hopefully find ways to quantify the benefits and apply them to a larger population.  
“We do hope that as we learn more about the specific factors that are protective for foreign-born Hispanics, that knowledge could be applicable to reduce population rates of stroke for everyone,” Moon said.