Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Digital How-To

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Digital How-To

Article excerpt

Death rates 2000

Killer site slices and dices figures about 'The Final Frontier'

What's the leading cause of death in your state? How does it compare to neighboring states, the region, and the nation as a whole?

Is the rate of suicide among your teen-agers rising or declining? How about the total number of firearm-related deaths or number of senior citizens who are killed in traffic accidents each year on the streets and roads of your state? Have you heard that the rate of death by heart disease or cancer might be higher in your part of the country than elsewhere? Where can you research something like that? Are the leading causes of death in your region different for men than they are for women? For African Americans? For Hispanics? For what age groups does homicide appear to be an inordinately high death factor? And has that rate changed significantly over the past decade and a half?

How many of your citizens die in residential fires each year? Or drown? Or succumb to adverse reactions to medicines? Or die in motorcycle accidents?

It used to be that to get stories like these in your news columns, you pretty much had to wait until they were delivered to you via press releases from some state government bean counters who had been crunching numbers delivered to them by federal statisticians.

But, as usual, the Web has not only put the raw data into your hands but also given you some powerful tools to slice and dice it.

A new site from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enables you to search for customized injury-related mortality data. To use the resource, visit the site at wisqars and click a link to one of two main pages:

The "Mortality Tables" interface, where you can select among several options to view injury deaths and death rates for specific injuries. It provides tabulations of the total numbers of injury-related deaths and the death rates per 100,000 population. The reports list deaths according to mechanism/cause and manner/ intent of injury, and you can sort the data by state, race, sex, and/or age group.

The "Leading Causes of Death" interface, where you can select among a number of modifiers to produce lists of injury-related deaths relative to the number of other leading causes of death in the United States or in individual states. …

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