Cause Specific Mortality and Income in the Mississippi River Delta Region

Diana Bowser, Harvard School of Public Health

This paper uses individual level mortality data to calculate age-standardized mortality rates for five causes of death (cardiovascular disease, other noncommunicable diseases, communicable diseases, injuries and diabetes) for the Delta and non-Delta Regions; uses multinomial logistic regression to adjust individual mortality data for factors that influence death certificate reporting per Murray et al. 2008 for years 1970 – 2000; creates Preston curves and uses OLS to examine the relationship from income to cardiovascular disease and other noncommunicable diseases; and uses 2SLS to show the significant contribution of higher levels of cardiovascular death rates and other noncommunicable disease death rates to lower economic growth. The results show the Delta Region begins to fall farther behind the non-Delta Region after 1990 for all causes of death; income influences cardiovascular disease rates more than noncommunicable disease rates, and higher levels of cardiovascular disease and noncommunicable disease are detrimental to economic growth.

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Presented in Session 170: Historical and Geographic Perspectives of Socioeconomic Differences in Mortality