Online Program

Health Disparities in Preventable and Avoidable Deaths: Trends in Berkeley, California

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Jose Ducos, MD, MPH, City of Berkeley, Public Health Division, Berkeley, CA
Alvan Quamina, JD, PhD, MPH, Section Chief--Clinical Services, Epidemiology & Vital Statistics, City of Berkeley, Public Health Division, Berkeley, CA
Premature deaths attributed to a lack of primary prevention or timely and effective medical care are considered avoidable. In this analysis, avoidable deaths include all deaths among per­sons aged <75 years with an underlying cause of ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease (stroke), hypertensive disease, or chronic rheu­matic heart disease.

During 2008-2010, the total number of avoidable deaths from heart disease, stroke, and hypertensive disease was, 120 (annual average: 40) and the age-adjusted death rate was 37.6 per 100,000 population. Age specific death rates in 2008-2010 were highest in the oldest age group (65–74 years) (259 per 100,000) and lowest in the youngest age group. However, 52% of the deaths in 2008-2010 (n = 62) occurred among those aged <65 years. Avoidable deaths were 1.6 higher among males (47 per 100,000) than females (29 per 100,000) and almost 7 times higher among African Americans (147.5 per 100,000) compared with Whites (22.5 per 100,000).

From 2000-2002 to 2008-2010, the number of avoidable deaths declined from 168 (annual average: 56) to 120 (annual average: 40). The rates have decreased significantly for the City as a whole: 69.2 to 37.6 per 100,000 (-46% change); for males: 91.2 to 47 per 100,000 (-48% change); for females: 50.5 to 29.3 per 100,000 (-42% change); for Whites: 37.8 to 22.5 per 100,000 (-40% change); and for African Americans: 223.3 to 147.5 per 100,000 (-34% change). The decline in avoidable deaths has been slower for African Americans than Whites. Despite its relative affluence and high SES, African Americans in Berkeley have higher rates from avoidable deaths than African Americans in the U.S. more generally.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the incidence and trends of preventable or avoidable death in Berkeley, California Compare the trends of preventable or avoidable deaths, between Whites and African Americans Analyze whether African Americans are at disproportionate risk of preventable or avoidable deaths Assess the reasons why African Americans in Berkeley, California might be at disproportionate risk of preventable or avoidable deaths

Keyword(s): Chronic Disease Prevention, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the epidemiologist for the City of Berkeley for over seventeen years. I have conducted health assessments for the entire jurisdiction on multiple occasions. I designed and conducted the study upon which this presentation is based.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.