health indicators | Overview
The research team at UT System Population Health includes epidemiologists, statisticians, psychologists, health economists, public health experts, and former state health administrators. We have extensive experience working with large health data sets as well as within complex bureaucracies.
As part of our mission, we are producing a series of analyses, reports, and maps that document the health of specific populations in Texas.
"Health Status of Northeast Texas: 2016" is the first in a series of reports UT System Population Health is producing that document the health of specific communities within Texas. The report, which uses detailed mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics, found that the region has extremely high age-adjusted mortality rates for heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and unintentional injury (e.g. car accidents). The rates in Northeast Texas were also higher than the Texas average for kidney disease, suicide, and infant mortality.
Utilizing recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we found that in 2016, less than a third of Texas adolescents were up-to-date on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations. Only Wyoming, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah had HPV vaccination coverage levels lower than Texas.
In order to document and understand this health indicator, UT System Population Health has calculated zip-code level infant mortality rates using data from Texas Vital Statistics Linked Birth and Death Records from 2011-2014 (1,543,167 births). Zip-code level infant mortality rates were calculated if there were more than 400 births to mothers living in that zip code. Of the 2,455 zip codes in Texas, infant mortality rates for 842 were calculated. While only 34% of the zip codes in the state could be calculated, these zip codes contained 93% of all the births in Texas over this four year period.
In order to increase the availability and accessibility of local data, UT System Population Health used the 2013-2015 Texas birth records to generate ZIP-code-level measures of three maternal risk factors: pre-pregnancy obesity, smoking during pregnancy, and prenatal care utilization.
3,403 Texans died from suicide in 2015, the most recent year for which there are numbers. This is more than double the number killed by homicide, and was the second leading cause of death for ages 15-24, after unintentional injuries (e.g. car accidents). Suicide was the fourth leading cause of death for ages 15-64.