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Amber Todd


Objective: The object of this paper is to investigate the relationship between rurality and the national top five causes of death in Kentucky counties.

Methods: We used Spearman correlations to quantify the relationship between percent rurality and the crude death rate for heart disease, malignant neoplasia, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease, and cerebrovascular disease for each Kentucky county. We also used a Spearman correlation to compare and correlate percent rurality and mortality due to heart disease as these two factors changed between data from 2000 and 2010.

Results: Our research demonstrated statistically significant correlations between percent rurality and the crude death rates for all five included means of mortality (heart disease (r = 0.457, p < 0.001 (5.15x10-7)), malignant neoplasms (r = 0.518, p < 0.001 (6.65x10-9)), unintentional injury (r = 0.464, p = 0.001), chronic lower respiratory disease (r = 0.757, p < 0.001 (9.72x10-12)), and cerebrovascular disease (r = 0.561, p = 0.002)). Further, we found neither correlation nor significance between changes in percent rurality and changes in heart disease between the 2000 and 2010 data (r = -0.019, p = 0.843).

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