Race and Hispanic Origin Reporting on Death Certificates in the United States: Status and Effects

Elizabeth Arias, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), CDC
William S. Schauman, U.S. Census Bureau
Paul Sorlie, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH

We evaluate race and Hispanic origin reporting on death certificates in the United States for deaths occurring between 1979 and 1998, using the latest version of the National Longitudinal Mortality Study. Study findings indicate that reporting has improved considerably over time for most race and Hispanic origin groups. They also indicate that the quality of reporting on the death certificate varies significantly by selected characteristics of the decedent, such as area of residence and nativity. Finally, study findings also show that the quality of reporting on the death certificate has very serious effects on mortality indicators.

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Presented in Session 148: Paradox of Better Health and Lower Mortality among Immigrants