CU Population Center

Institute of Behavioral Science

Addressing the Midlife Mortality Crisis: Place-Based Modeling, Trend Analysis and Policy Interventions

Principal Investigator: Myron Gutmann

Funder: NIA (R01AG080483)

CUPC seed grant recipient

This project will study midlife mortality trends by analyzing local correlates and risk factors of cause of death in their place-based context between 1990 and 2021. Using cause-specific death data, sociodemographic characteristics, and economic trends, the research will generate trajectories of midlife mortality risks for dynamically-derived spatial units. This work responds to research and policy discussions regarding potentially-modifiable attributes of places related to rising mortality among middle-aged adults. Several cause-specific mortality trends warrant attention: rising rates of suicides, cardiometabolic diseases, and deaths due to drug or alcohol abuse, along with their interactions with select infectious diseases (e.g.,  Hepatitis C and COVID-19). This project addresses the place-based causes of the rise in midlife mortality in the U.S. It makes use of highly detailed mortality records, often at the scale of the residential block. It will analyze the characteristics of places in the context of where they are located and how social and economic conditions have changed, and suggest potential policy interventions to reduce future mortality.