Influenza and Pneumonia Mortality Trends 2000-2007 DS 10-10000
Race/Ethnic Group Differences
Among race/ethnic groups with reliable rates in all years, Blacks had the highest age-adjusted death rate followed by Whites. The age-adjusted rates for Asians and Hispanics closely mirrored each other with slight fluctuations. Overall, the 2007 age-adjusted rates were lower than the 2000 rates for all race/ethnic groups with reliable rates. The chart below illustrates a trend analysis, which shows a statistically significant downward trend in influenza and pneumonia death rates for Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians during the 2000 to 2007 period.
Rates for American Indians, Pacific Islanders and Two or More Races were unreliable during one or more years in the study, so their rates are not discussed here. However, the rates are displayed in Table 3 (PDF)
Table 3 (PDF)provides detailed influenza and pneumonia age-adjusted rates and 95 percent confidence intervals by race/ethnic groups. More information about the race/ethnic groups studied is available in the Technical Notes.
Specific results were as follows:
- The Asian influenza and pneumonia age-adjusted death rate in 2000 and 2001 was consistent at 24.5. The rate declined each subsequent year, except from 2004 and 2005 where there was a slight increase of 0.2. In 2007, Asians reached their lowest rate during the study period, at 17.7.
- The Black influenza and pneumonia age-adjusted death rate has fluctuated within the eight-year period. In 2000, the Black age-adjusted rate was 33.0 per 100,000 California residents. The 2001 rate rose to a high of 33.5, gradually declined to 28.5 by 2005, rose again to 29.4 in 2006, and then reached a low of 27.1 in 2007.
- The Hispanic influenza and pneumonia age-adjusted death rate started at 24.1 in 2000, climbed to a 2001 high of 24.3, and then progressively declined, reaching a low of 16.2 in 2007.
The White influenza and pneumonia age-adjusted death rate decreased from year to year with the exception of 2004 and 2005 where there was a slight increase from 23.4 to 24.0. However, the rate decline resumed in 2006 and 2007. The White age-adjusted death rate was 19.3 in 2007, which was a decrease of 36.7 percent from the 2000 rate of 30.5.
Age-Specific Death Rates by Race/Ethnicity
The risk of dying from influenza and pneumonia increases with age. Age-specific death rates for all race/ethnic groups were higher in older age groups. Among age-specific death rates for all race/ethnic groups combined, those aged 55 and older decreased from 2000 to 2007 with some fluctuations year-to-year. The age-specific death rate by race/ethnicity from 2000 to 2007 for California residents 55 and older shows Blacks had the highest age-specific death rate for each year of study from age 55 through 84.
Prior to 2004, Whites had the highest age-specific rate among those 85 and older followed by Asians, Blacks and Hispanics. Beginning in 2004, year-to-year fluctuations are apparent within race/ethnic groups. In 2007, Blacks had the highest age-specific rate followed by Whites, Asians and Hispanics.
Annual age-specific influenza and pneumonia death rates by race/ethnic group are displayed in Table 2a (PDF).
Crude Rates by Race/Ethnic Group
During this period, the actual risk of dying per 100,000 population, or crude rate, ranged for race/ethnic groups as follows:
• Asians, 14.9 to 15.9
• Blacks, 19.8 to 21.4
• Hispanics, 6.6 to 7.8
• Whites, 27.0 to 39.9
American Indians, Pacific Islanders and Two or More Races had unreliable crude death rates during one or more years of the study period and, therefore, are not included above. Annual influenza and pneumonia crude death rates by race/ethnic group are displayed in Table 2a (PDF) under the “All Ages” column.
Crude death rates show the actual rate of dying in a given population, but because populations will vary in age distribution, crude rates do not provide a statistically valid method for comparing sex or race/ethnic groups, geographic areas, or multiple reporting periods.7 Please see age specific or age-adjusted death rates for comparisons.
Influenza and Pneumonia Number of Deaths by Race/Ethnicity
Of the 61,523 influenza and pneumonia deaths in 2000 to 2007, Whites accounted for 73.0 percent followed by Hispanics (12.0 percent), Asians (8.3 percent), Blacks (6.1 percent), American Indians (0.3 percent), Two or More Races (0.2 percent), and Pacific Islanders (0.2 percent).
For additional information regarding the number of events, please see Technical Notes.
Age Distribution of Influenza and Pneumonia Deaths by Race/Ethnic Groups
There were differences in the average age of influenza and pneumonia deaths among race/ethnic groups. For example, Pacific Islanders died an average 14 years earlier from influenza and pneumonia than Whites. The average age and the number of deaths due to influenza and pneumonia between 2000 and 2007 was
- 67.4 years for Pacific Islanders (N=104)
- 70.5 years for Two or More Races (N=133)
- 75.0 years for American Indians (N=173)
- 75.8 years for Blacks (N= 3,747)
- 75.9 years for Hispanics (N=7,352)
- 81.6 years for Asians (N=5,098)
- 82.9 years for Whites (N= 44,915)
Over 90 percent of influenza and pneumonia deaths occurred to those aged 65 and over. However, the percentage of death that occurred to people younger than 65 varied by race/ethnicity and some groups experienced more deaths at younger ages than other groups. Specifically, the proportion of influenza and pneumonia deaths before 65 was:
- More than 20 percent among American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and Two or More Races.
- Between 10 and 20 percent among Blacks and Hispanics
- Less than 10 percent among Asians and Whites.
The chart below illustrates the differences between age groups by race/ethnicity.