The purpose of this thesis is to develop methods for estimating exposure to risks, health outcomes, and longevity at the county level in the US, to use the resulting estimates to evaluate whether geographic disparities in health at the county level are increasing or decreasing over time, and to explore the drivers of variation in longevity among counties.

This thesis has three specific research questions:
1. Can methods be developed that both address small numbers issues and also account for known biases in available data, allowing for sufficiently precise estimates of healthrelated risk factors and mortality for US counties?
2. To what extent does the prevalence of health-related risk factors and health outcomes vary among counties in the US, and are inequalities increasing or decreasing over time?
3. What proportion of the variation observed in mortality rates at the county level can be explained by variation in socioeconomic factors, behavioral and metabolic risk factors, and access to and quality of health care?

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J.P. Mackenbach (Johan) , F.J. van Lenthe (Frank)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Public Health

Dwyer-Lindgren, L. (2017, October 11). Geographic Patterns and Disparities in Health-related Behaviors and Outcomes in the United States. Retrieved from