The Changing Landscape of Diabetes Mortality in the United States Across Region and Rurality, 1999-2016

Timothy Callaghan, Alva O. Ferdinand, Marvellous A. Akinlotan, Samuel D. Towne, Jane Bolin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose: This brief report examines place-based differences in diabetes mortality in order to understand whether disparities in diabetes mortality have changed across United States Census regions and levels of rurality over time. Methods: We use data from the National Center for Health Statistics from 1999 to 2016 to analyze changes in diabetes mortality over time and across geographical regions of the United States. Findings: We find evidence that diabetes mortality has declined in the United States over the past 2 decades, but that improvements in mortality vary considerably by place. Improvements are observed in urban America and in the Northeast and Midwest while diabetes mortality has remained largely unchanged in rural areas, particularly in the rural South. Conclusions: Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, but important differences have emerged in the burden of this disease. Reductions in diabetes mortality are lagging in rural areas, and the rural South in particular, relative to other areas of the country. Continued innovations in care and targeted interventions in rural areas are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-415
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rural Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • chronic disease
  • diabetes
  • mortality
  • region
  • rural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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