Investigation Of Obesity-Related Mortality Rates In Delaware

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Malcolm J. D’Souza
Derald E. Wentzien
Riza C. Bautista
Catherine C. Gross


Delaware, Obesity, Mortality, SAS, GIS


As Delaware’s adult obesity crisis continues to be a leading public health concern, we evaluated Delaware’s 1999–2014 vital records to examine the association between obesity and mortality. We used the Delaware population death records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WONDER database and the Delaware Health Statistics Center (DHSC). 

Together with the vital records, we incorporated Microsoft Excel, SAS (Statistical Analysis System) and GIS (geographic information system) tools to analyze obesity influences from county residence, economic status, education, gender, and race. Using the 15-year (1999–2014) time span with the CDC WONDER database, we observed a statistically significant 28.7% increase in the age-adjusted Delaware obesity-related mortality rates (where obesity was a contributory factor). Furthermore, obesity influenced death counts in all three Delaware counties (New Castle, Kent, and Sussex). Kent County experienced the largest increase (66.0%), followed by New Castle County (47.4%), and Sussex County (25.2%). 

The DHSC mortality rates for all leading causes of death from 2000 to 2011 indicated relatively stable mortality rates for Delaware. However, using CDC WONDER data, the Delaware mortality rate for obesity as a single underlying cause in 2011 was 56.9% higher than mortality rate in 2000.


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