The Hispanic Paradox
Mike, it makes a lot of sense to me. Of course, I haven't done the research as you have and so am falling into the "I feel it" trap, but at least I'm aware of it. And besides, I've been living it for over 12 years.
There's something more caustic (and I'm looking forward to your next article so I can get my dose of confirmation bias) [kind of a joke, but probably not really] about living in the states. Maybe it has something to do with the lack of connection among strangers, like everyone's an island.
In the states, I went to the supermarket regularly, and noticed that other shoppers rarely (as in once every few years) made eye contact, even though we were sharing a task. It's some sort of unwritten rule that islands aren't allowed to have even a rudimentary signal fire.
Contrast that to Mexico where I say Hi and Good Morning and Please Enjoy Your Meal to strangers all the time. And they to me. Day after day. Just that small bit of connection multiplied by days and weeks and years can put a good zing in your spirit, and a good zing in your spirit prolongs your life. By how much, I don't know, but warmth is essential to all living beings.
I appreciate the new words I am learning as I read your articles. Like today's word, diaspora. :-) I think stress levels are important in longevity (personally) and community living, not getting aggressive about opinions, and the day to day focus on relating to others (eye contact, saying good day, etc) all feel like material differences that could over the long haul impact life quality and expectancy. So though having no data, it makes intuitive sense (like Victor said!). :-)