Diversity may be killing older African-Americans and Hispanics, according to a new peer-reviewed study published in the America Journal of Public Health, which shows that people suffer less cancer and heart disease when they live among their racial or ethnic peers.

“Living in an ethnically dense neighborhood is beneficial when it comes to heart disease and cancer,” said Kimberly Alvarez, a co-author of the new study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The reduced death rate in “ethnically dense” neighborhoods may occur because similar neighbors are “likely to share values like respect for elders and have close-knit family structures,” said Becca Levy, a study co-author and an associate professor of Epidemiology and Psychology at the Yale School of Public Health.

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