In this week’s post we examine the death rates for several causes for the Southeastern Michigan area, which consists of Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. We also included the City of Detroit in these charts. When comparing all seven counties in the region, a 5-year rolling average was used, as this was the only consistent type of data reporting used by the Michigan Department of Community Health for all the causes of death examined here. When comparing just the tri-county Metro-Detroit region (Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties along with the City of Detroit) data was reported on a yearly basis. Where numbers aren’t reported in the charts it is because the Michigan Department of Community Health did not have sufficient data; this is seen most often with Livingston, Monroe and St. Clair counties. In addition, all death rates were reported per 100,000.
After examining all charts, the reader will see that heart disease has the highest death rate in the area, but has also seen a significant decrease over the last 30 years for the 75 and older population. Death rates related to strokes and flu and pneumonia for the 75 and older population have also been decreasing. Death rates associated with chronic diseases, such as kidney and respiratory diseases, have been increasing for the older population, as have the death rates associated with diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
The death rate associated with heart disease is the highest of all the causes of deaths examined in this post. While it has been decreasing since the 1980s in the Southeastern Michigan area; the lowest death rate associated with heart disease is still higher than the death rates associated with cancer for the region. For the five year rolling average of the entire Southeastern Michigan area, Washtenaw County has consistently had the lowest death rate associated with heart disease for those 75 and older.
The four charts above show the cancer death rate for Southeastern Michigan residents age 75 and older and for those 50 and younger. As can be seen by both the data provided for the seven county regions and the tri-county region, the cancer death rate is well over 1,000 points higher for those 75 and older than those 50 and younger, when comparing the highest rates in the seven county charts. For those 75 and older, Livingston County had the highest five year rolling average cancer death rate of 1,715.5 from 1995-1999.
For those 50 and younger the City of Detroit had the highest rate at 31.9 from 1991-95. For those under the age of 50 in the chart that compares all seven counties in the Southeastern Michigan area, Detroit consistently had the highest rates, while for those 75 and older Detroit only began to have the highest cancer death rate with the 2000-04; this trend has continued. Before then, Livingston and St. Clair counties had the highest rates for those 75 and older.
For the 75 and older population the death rate associated with strokes has been decreasing over time. For example, Washtenaw County started out with the highest death rate caused by strokes when looking at the 1980-84 average; this rate was recorded at 1,179.1. For the 2006-10 average though the rate was recorded at 500.5. Monroe County had the highest death rate average for this population for 2006-10 with a rate of 521.8.
When looking at the data for the 50 and younger population, Detroit had a higher death rate when comparing both the seven county region and the Metro-Detroit area. The 2006-10 average for Detroit was 5.9; this shows how deaths associated with strokes have a much lower rate for the younger population.
When examining the death rates associated with the flu and pneumonia in all four charts there appears to be a downward trend. However, the death rate did spike in the early 1990’s for all charts except the one that shows the five year rolling average for those 75 and older in the Southeastern Michigan region. For the 75 and older population the death rate ranged from about 300 to 400 in the early 1980s. Those numbers have since decreased, however the overall range has expanded. For example, for the 2006-10 average for the 75 and older population Livingston County had the highest rate at 243.5 while Monroe County had the lowest at 87.7.
When comparing the younger population with the older population, the death rates are much lower for those who are younger. For example, the highest five year average flu and pneumonia death rate recorded for those 50 and younger was in 1992-96 for the City of Detroit; it was recorded at 8.4. The highest rate recorded for those 75 and older was 543.1 for Washtenaw County residents for the 1986-90 average. For the younger population the Michigan Department of Community Health did not have consistent information available for all counties in the Southeastern Michigan region.
The diabetes death rate for those under the age of 50 is highest for the City of Detroit when comparing data at the yearly level for the Metro-Detroit area and for the five year rolling average when looking at all of Southeastern Michigan. In recent years the diabetes death rate for those 75 and older has been highest and in St. Clair and Monroe counties. St. Clair County has had the highest five year rolling average since 2002-06. Overall, since 1980 for those 75 and older in the seven county regions, Monroe County recorded the highest rate at 402 for the 1998-02 average.
While the rate of deaths caused by chronic liver disease shows an overall downward trend for those 75 and older in the Southeastern Michigan area, the data shows that Monroe County residents are following that trend at an even a slower pace. Monroe and St. Clair counties both saw a peak in the average number of deaths associated with this disease in the 1997-2001 time frame. However, following that, St. Clair County’s numbers decreased more rapidly than those in Monroe County. For the 2006-10 average Monroe County recorded a rate of 36.4; for those 50 and younger Monroe County residents recorded a rate of about 3.8.
For the younger population, City of Detroit residents had a higher death rates associated with chronic liver disease when looking at both the seven county region and the tri-county area. When examining the seven county region though, the decline in deaths associated with this disease was much more prominent. For the 1985-89 average, the City of Detroit reached a peak of 20.2; that number has since decreased to 3.6 for the 2006-10 average. Starting with the 2000-04 average, St. Clair County moved ahead of the City of Detroit for the death rate associated with chronic liver disease. St. Clair County has remained ahead of Detroit and recorded an average death rate of 4.2 for 2006-10.
The two charts showing data for chronic kidney disease death rates for those 75 and older shows there has been an increasing trend over time. For example, in the City of Detroit, the 1980-84 average was 111.2 and the 2006-2010 average was 216.2. The City of Detroit has recorded the highest death rate for this disease since the 1996-00 five year rolling average was calculated for the elderly population. While the death rate did begin to trend downward for Detroit after the 2001-05 average, the 2006-10 average is still much higher than the 1980-84 average.
The chart showing the chronic kidney disease death rates for those 50 and younger for the City of Detroit and Wayne County shows Detroit’s rate has consistently remained higher. In 2010 Detroit’s rate was recorded at 2 and Wayne County’s was recorded at 1.2. Information for Macomb and Oakland counties with this population wasn’t consistently available on yearly basis; the same goes for the Southeastern Michigan reason with the five year rolling average.
As with trends seen throughout this post though, the death rate for the younger population with this disease is much lower than those 75 and older.
When looking at the death rates associated with chronic respiratory disease the data shows they have been increasing for those 75 and older. However, when looking at the rates for those under the age of 50 there is no evidence of such a prominent increase. Instead, the Metro-Detroit region shows no regular trend and for the information available for the Southeastern Michigan area the trend was less erratic, but this can be attributed to the fact that the data is based on a rolling average. The City of Detroit did have the highest rates for both charts that show the data for those under the age of 50.
The death rate associated with Alzheimer’s Disease has seen an overall upward trend in the Southeastern Michigan area for all ages. Livingston County though saw a large increase from 1994-98 to 1999-03. The five year age death rate associated with this disease was recorded at 27.8 for 1999-03; which was the highest recorded rate for the county and the region. Washtenaw County has had the highest death rate associated with this disease since the early 2000s.For the 2006-10 average it was recorded at 21.9.