BACKGROUND: Disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes persist across the United States. Social determinants of health play an important role in driving these disparities. The current study aims to identify the most important social determinants associated with CVD mortality over time in US counties. METHODS AND RESULTS: The authors used the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s database on social determinants of health and linked it with CVD mortality data at the county level from 2009 to 2018. The age-standardized CVD mortality rate was measured as the number of deaths per 100 000 people. Penalized generalized estimating equations were used to select social determinants associated with county-level CVD mortality. The analytic sample included 3142 counties. The penalized generalized estimating equation identified 17 key social determinants of health including rural– urban status, county’s racial composition, income, food, and housing status. Over the 10-year period, CVD mortality declined at an annual rate of 1.08 (95% CI, 0.74–1.42) deaths per 100 000 people. Rural counties and counties with a higher percentage of Black residents had a consistently higher CVD mortality rate than urban counties and counties with a lower percentage of Black residents. The rural– urban CVD mortality gap did not change significantly over the past decade, whereas the association between the percentage of Black residents and CVD mortality showed a significant diminishing trend over time. CONCLUSIONS: County-level CVD mortality declined from 2009 through 2018. However, rural counties and counties with a higher percentage of Black residents continued to experience higher CVD mortality. Median income, food, and housing status consistently predicted higher CVD mortality.
- cardiovascular disease mortality
- longitudinal data analysis
- racial disparities
- rural urban disparities
- social determinants of health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine