The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a map that displays the most distinctive causes of death for each U.S. state.
With intuitive findings such as heart conditions or cancer being the prime cause of mortality across the U.S. territory, the CDC death map goes one step further in mapping distinctive causes by state.
Drawing on data sets from the National Center for Health Statistics in combination with other values, the CDC team studies 113 different causes of death in the period from 2001 to 2010.
The methodology at large compared average death rates across the U.S. to those reported in each particular state. Compared with the national average, the causes found with a greatest rate of incidence in each state were declared the distinctive form of death for the state.
According to the research team composed of Francis P. Boscoe, PhD, New York State Cancer Registry and Eva Pradhan, MPH, New York State Department of Health, Albany, one of the drawbacks of the study is that it is prone to show only rare causes of death. It is nonetheless, an open basis for discussion.
For instance in the case of Alaska, only four out of 100,000 citizens do perish in plane or boat accidents. However, that number is 6.7 times higher as the rate in the rest of the U.S. with causes attributed to parts of Alaska being accessible only by these means of transport.
Another factor interfering with the research was that a number of states choose practice their own coding of fatality causes on death certificates. Although the procedure should be unified, there is still room for inconsistency.
For instance in a suburban Florida county the death certificates featured errors reflected in confusing terminology in the cause of death and the terminal mechanism of death.
The CDC researchers attributed this fact to the lack of proper formal training in the field, but stated that the situation could be changed for the better where education efforts would be widespread.
As to the results, some are quite intuitive the research says. In mining states such as West Virginia, Kentucky or Pennsylvania the distinctive cause of death is brought by inhaling toxic dusts resulting in pneumoconiosis. Influenza features high in Maine, Wyoming and the Dakotas. As discussed above, Alaska and Idaho have a distinctive cause of death due to plane or boat accidents.
And some Western states feature death brought about by law enforcement officers. This reflects the recent events where shootings resulted in protests and rioting across the states. New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon fall in this category.
The CDC research tea emphasized that the death map’s purpose is to open discussion from health professionals on all grounds and findings. This does not mean that efforts to prevent chronic diseases prevention should be tampered.
Image Source: Politico