Relationship Between Disease Rates and Demographic Factors in Independence, MO
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Background: Health begins in one’s home, neighborhood, and community. Health is determined by numerous factors. The social determinants of health (SDOH) account for up to 55% of health outcomes. They are responsible for the majority of health inequities seen globally. The purpose of this study was to understand the relationship between demographic factors and rates of disease. Methods: Rates of pertussis and varicella in Independence, Missouri (MO) children aged 0-5 in 2015-2019 were examined. Only eight of Independence’s zip codes were included. These rates were then compared to the city’s race, ethnicity, language, median income, and education level demographic factors. A linear regression and Kruskal-Wallis test were performed for each disease and list of factors using SPSS. Results: Individual demographic factors were not significant when compared to disease rates. The significance level was set at 0.05. In the linear regression, spoken language was the most significant factor for pertussis (β = 1.439, p = 0.513) and race for varicella (β = -0.813, p = 0.496). Education level was the most insignificant factor for pertussis (β = -0.085, p = 0.940) and median income for varicella (β = -0174, p = 0.888). In the Kruskal-Wallis test, education level was the most significant factor for pertussis (p = 0.433) and race for varicella (p = 0.480). Median income was the most insignificant factor for pertussis (p = 0.856) and education level for varicella (p = 0.954). Conclusion: No single demographic factor can increase an individual’s susceptibility to disease. To effectively understand disease rates, all facets of one’s SDOH must be considered. Implications of this work include interventions directed at improving the public’s SDOH may, in turn, positively impact their overall health.