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Methods for improving the quality and completeness of mortality data for American Indians and Alaska Natives

TitleMethods for improving the quality and completeness of mortality data for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsEspey, DK, Jim, MA, Richards, TB, Begay, C, Haverkamp, D, Roberts, D
JournalAm J Public HealthAm J Public Health
Volume104 Suppl 3
Date PublishedJun
ISBN Number1541-0048 (Electronic)<br/>0090-0036 (Linking)
Accession Number24754557
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and Over, Alaska, Cause of Death, Child, Child, Preschool, Data Collection/ standards, Death Certificates, Female, Humans, Indians, North American/ statistics & numerical data, Infant, Inuits/ statistics & numerical data, Male, Middle Aged, Mortality/ trends, Population Surveillance, United States, United States Indian Health Service
AbstractOBJECTIVES: We describe methods used to mitigate the effect of race misclassification in mortality records and the data sets used to improve mortality estimates for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). METHODS: We linked US National Death Index (NDI) records with Indian Health Service (IHS) registration records to identify AI/AN deaths misclassified as non-AI/AN deaths. Analyses excluded decedents of Hispanic origin and focused on Contract Health Service Delivery Area (CHSDA) counties. We compared death rates for AI/AN persons and Whites across 6 US regions. RESULTS: IHS registration records merged to 176,137 NDI records. Misclassification of AI/AN race in mortality data ranged from 6.3% in the Southwest to 35.6% in the Southern Plains. From 1999 to 2009, the all-cause death rate in CHSDA counties for AI/AN persons varied by geographic region and was 46% greater than that for Whites. Analyses for CHSDA counties resulted in higher death rates for AI/AN persons than in all counties combined. CONCLUSIONS: Improving race classification among AI/AN decedents strengthens AI/AN mortality data, and analyzing deaths by geographic region can aid in planning, implementation, and evaluation of efforts to reduce health disparities in this population.
Ethno Med: