Objective: Previous studies have found that purported health determinants of chiropractors per capita and medical doctors per capita, as well as other purported determinants of health, have an influence on health outcomes such as death rates. This study assesses the affects of the purported health determinants of age, educational attainment, chiropractors per capita, medical doctors per capita, and per capita income on death rates for the year 1990 in the United States.
Methods: Health determinants of educational attainment for 1989, per capita income in 1990, percent of population 65 and older in 1990 (age), chiropractors per capita in 1990 and medical doctors per capita in 1990 for the 50 U.S. States and District of Columbia were correlated with the top three causes of death (heart disease, cancer, and cerebrovascular disease). Differences were also assessed by comparing death rates in jurisdictions having low versus high determinant values (i.e., jurisdictions having low versus high income).
Results: Correlation of determinants with death rates, on average was strongest for age, followed by educational attainment, chiropractors per capita, per capita income, and medical doctors per capita. There were statistically significant differences in low versus high jurisdictions for age and educational attainment (four years of high school and four or more years of college) for all three death rate categories (p < 0.05). When considering medical doctors per capita, statistically significantly lower death rates were recorded for cerebrovascular disease.
Conclusion: For the determinants assessed in this study, age showed the strongest relationship with the death rates, followed by educational attainment. The determinants of chiropractors per capita, medical doctors per capita, and per capita income exhibited weaker relationships with the death rates. Future research will seek to determine whether these findings are common to other years.
John Hart MHS, DC. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ September 12, 2008 ~ Pages 1-5. Abstract