Opioid Overdose Rates by Race/Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status

New York Finger Lakes Region

The charts below provide a detailed view of which populations have the highest incidence of opioid overdoses. The left-hand chart shows premature mortality for each racial/ethnic group across the socio-economic spectrum. The right-hand chart shows the combined inpatient and ED visit rates for the same population segments. Taken together, the data show that the highest rates (both YPLL and visits) are for whites in the lowest SES areas. In those same areas, the Latino rates are also very high. The African-American rates have a different pattern and generally don’t vary as much – so their rate is much lower than the white/Latino rates in SES 1 areas.


Methodology note: The SES index ranking was developed by Common Ground Health and calculated using a variety of socioeconomic indicators from the American Community Survey including average income, poverty rates, education levels, housing value, and homeownership. Each ZIP code is assigned a socioeconomic (SES) index ranking from 1 to 5. The lower SES ZIP codes tend to have lower average income, higher poverty rates, lower prevalence of college degrees, etc.

Methodology note: Years of potential life lost (YPLL) is a widely used measure to assess the rate of premature mortality. YPLL places a larger weight on the deaths of younger people, in contrast with overall mortality statistics which are dominated by deaths of the elderly. The YPLL rates in Common Ground Health analyses are derived using 75 years as the baseline. A death at age 65 has YPLL of 10, where as a death at age 35 has a YPLL of 40. The rates are calculated per 100,000 population and are age-sex adjusted to account for differences in population distribution.

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