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The influence of socio-demographic factors and region on seasonal mortality in the United States

Roland Rau, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Jutta Gampe, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

We analyzed the impact of socio-demographic factors and region on seasonal mortality in the United States for the years 1959-98. Data for our analysis of almost 80 million death counts above age 50 have been taken from publicly available files from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As standard time-series methods failed to yield satisfactory results for our data, we developed a new methodological approach. Using simulations we show that our method based on varying coefficient models is able to catch changes of the seasonal pattern even in the presence of overdispersion. We found an increase of seasonality with age. Women and men do not differ with respect to the seasonal amplitudes in mortality. The clear social gradient by education in seasonality we discovered has not been documented before. Surprisingly, seasonality in mortality did not differ across various climatic regions in the United States.

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Presented in Session 57: Climate, population, and health