How major risk factors influence mortality trends in the National Health Interview Survey
Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC) Series 2022-93
Philadelphia, PA, University of Pennsylvania Population Studies Center (2022)
This paper estimates the contribution of changes in major risk factors to mortality trends in the United States during the period 1997-2015. The risk factors investigated include cigarette smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, educational attainment, health insurance coverage, and mental distress. It uses National Health Interview Surveys followed into death records to investigate the relationship between mortality and risk factors and to identify changes in the prevalence of the risk factors over the period of observation. All models control for age, sex, and race/ethnicity. It concludes that increases in educational attainment and reductions in smoking prevalence are the most important contributors to mortality change over the period of study.