Factors Influencing the Spatial Distribution of Lung Cancer Mortality in the United States, 2000 - 2002

Laryssa Mykyta, University of Pennsylvania

Smoking is the single most important cause of preventable mortality, contributing to between one-fifth and one-quarter of all deaths in the U.S. (Rogers et al. 2005; Peto and Lopez 2005). Given the contribution of smoking to mortality patterns, the prevalence of smoking and the structure of mortality across states may have important repercussions in terms of health expenditures across states. This paper examines the factors influencing the distribution of mortality across states. Specifically, it examines interstate differences in lung cancer mortality in the United States among persons aged 45 and over. The results presented here suggest the importance of behavioral and selected demographic factors in explaining state variations in lung cancer mortality for both men and women. Further, my results support the strong causal link between smoking prevalence and all-cause mortality across states, especially for men.

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Presented in Session 158: Spatial Determinants of Health