Mortal Realities of Healthcare: A Spatial Analysis of Healthcare Resources, Socioeconomic Status, and Mortality

Jamie Boydstun, Mississippi State University

Spatial patterns of mortality in the U.S. have been established, and numerous covariates of mortality rates have been investigated in attempts to explain this spatial autocorrelation. Socioeconomic and population characteristics of an area have repeatedly served as an explanation for spatial concentrations of mortality. Access to resources has been identified as influential to health, and it has been argued that spatial patterns of health inequalities are based on the unequal distribution of resources. This study first examines county-level spatial patterns of health care resources, namely primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, specialists, and pharmacies, in relation to standardized age-sex-race all-cause mortality using geographic information systems. Mortality data were obtained from the Compressed Mortality File from the NCHS. Other county-level measures were obtained from the Area Resource File and the County Business Patterns. Weighted least squares regression is used to examine interactive effects of income inequality and health care resources on mortality.

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Presented in Poster Session 1