Analysis of Hypertension Prevalence and Associated Disease Mortality Among Low-Socioeconomic Status Residents of Cook County, IL
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The socioeconomic gradient in health is well established in the field of public health, but studies of this phenomenon as it relates to chronic disease in vulnerable populations yield mixed results. This thesis statistically analyzes data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, National Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Chicago Department of Public Health, and Healthy Chicago Survey for a variety of demographic, socioeconomic, health, and mortality indicators, in order to identify relationships between socioeconomic determinants and mortality related to chronic hypertension. Although the socioeconomic determinant of primary importance was expected to be related to income level or poverty status, the study revealed that race appears to demonstrate a stronger relationship with mortality from diseases associated with chronic hypertension. Hypertension itself demonstrates a weak relationship with poverty, though analysis of various combinations of SES indicators implies a complex interaction mechanism that influences health outcomes.