Top Causes of Years of Potential Life Lost by Socioeconomic Status

New York Finger Lakes Region (2013 - 2015)

There is a clear and strong correlation between socioeconomic status and the rates of specific causes of premature mortality. The YPLL rate from cancer is 83 percent higher for the SES1 population compared to SES5. While the rates due to heart disease are lower than cancer, the disparity is great. The premature mortality rate from heart disease is 225 percent higher for SES1 vs SES5.

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.

Top Causes of Years of Potential Life Lost by Socioeconomic Status chart