Neighborhood Poverty, Mortality Rates, and Excess Deaths Among African Americans: Philadelphia 1999-2001
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 15, Number 4, November 2004
- pp. 530-537
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We usedvital statistics and census data to determine whether mortality rates in Philadelphia were associated with neighborhood poverty, and to what extent excess mortality among African Americans was associated with neighborhood poverty.Gender-specific, age-adjusted mortality rates for 1999-2001 were strongly associated with neighborhood poverty among both women and men overall, and among both African Americans and non-Hispanic whites. The actual number of deaths among African Americans was 5,305 higher than it would have been if African Americans had had the same gender- and age-specific mortality rates as the average for non-Hispanic whites in Philadelphia, and 1,944 higher than if African Americans had had the same gender- and age-specific rates as non-Hispanic whites in the same neighborhood poverty categories. The excess mortality associated with neighborhood poverty and the socioeconomic factors that force large numbers of African Americans into poverty and high-poverty neighborhoods appear to be major factors in excess mortality among African Americans.