Phantom of the area: poverty-area residence and mortality in the United States

Am J Public Health. 1998 Jun;88(6):973-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.88.6.973.


Objectives: The purpose of the study was to conduct a national multivariate analysis on poverty-area residence and mortality in the United States.

Methods: Proportional hazards analyses were performed of the effect of poverty-area residence on the risk of mortality among adult examinees in the 1971 through 1974 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who were followed through 1987.

Results: Poverty-area residence was associated with significantly elevated risk of all-cause mortality (rate ratio = 1.78, 95% confidence interval = 1.33, 2.38) and some cause-specific mortality among those aged 25 through 54 years, but not among those aged 55 through 74 years, at baseline after adjustment for several individual and household characteristics.

Conclusions: Residence in poverty areas contributes to socioeconomic gradients in mortality among nonelderly adults in the United States.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk
  • United States / epidemiology