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Am J Public Health. 2010 Apr;100(4):750-5. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.165142. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

Avertable deaths associated with household income in Virginia.

Author information

1
VCU Center on Human Needs, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298-0251, USA. swoolf@vcu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We estimated how many deaths would be averted if the entire population of Virginia experienced the mortality rates of the 5 most affluent counties or cities.

METHODS:

Using census data and vital statistics for the years 1990 through 2006, we applied the mortality rates of the 5 counties/cities with the highest median household income to the populations of all counties and cities in the state.

RESULTS:

If the mortality rates of the reference population had applied to the entire state, 24.3% of deaths in Virginia from 1990 through 2006 (range = 21.8%-28.1%) would not have occurred. An annual mean of 12 954 deaths would have been averted (range = 10 548-14 569), totaling 220 211 deaths from 1990 through 2006. In some of the most disadvantaged areas of the state, nearly half of deaths would have been averted.

CONCLUSIONS:

Favorable conditions that exist in areas with high household incomes exert a major influence on mortality rates. The corollary-that health suffers when society is exposed to economic stresses-is especially timely amid the current recession. Further research must clarify the extent to which individual-level factors (e.g., earnings, education, race, health insurance) and community characteristics can improve health outcomes.

PMID:
20167893
PMCID:
PMC2836336
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2009.165142
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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