Changing rate orders of race-gender heart disease death rates: An exploration of county-level race-gender disparities

Adam S. Vaughan, Harrison Quick, Linda Schieb, Michael R. Kramer, Herman A. Taylor, Michele Casper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A holistic view of racial and gender disparities that simultaneously compares multiple groups can suggest associated underlying contextual factors. Therefore, to more comprehensively understand temporal changes in combined racial and gender disparities, we examine variations in the orders of county-level race-gender specific heart disease death rates by age group from 1973–2015. We estimated county-level heart disease death rates by race, gender, and age group (35–44, 45–54, 55–64, 65–74, 75–84, ≥ 85, and ≥ 35) from the National Vital Statistics System of the National Center for Health Statistics from 1973–2015. We then ordered these rates from lowest to highest for each county and year. The predominant national rate order (i.e., white women (WW) < black women (BW) < white men (WM) < black men (BM)) was most common in younger age groups. Inverted rates for black women and white men (WW<WM<BW<BM) was observed nationally only for ages 35–44, but was observed in at least some counties for all age groups < 75. From 1973 through 1979, national rates for black men aged ≥ 35 were lower than those for white men. This national observation was found in a minority of counties, primarily among ages 55–64 and 65–74. The observed rates orders and their differences over time and place suggest that social and economic forces may be driving trends in heart disease mortality. Learning more about the places and times that deviate from the predominant rate order can further inform our understanding of these macro-level drivers of heart disease mortality trends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100334
JournalSSM - Population Health
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • County-level
  • Gender
  • Heart disease mortality
  • Race
  • Spatiotemporal
  • Temporal trends


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