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Q:  

I am trying to some mortality data for the state of Michigan and Montcalm county, Michigan from 1960 to present. We’d prefer age-adjusted figures over age-specific. Do you have any thoughts on how best to obtain these data?

This is for a health disparities documentary and the data are needed immediately.

A:  

Here are several possibilities.

First, you can get data on annual life expectancy data from the state of Michigan (by sex). Life table data are effectively age standardized:

http://www.mdch.state.mi.us/pha/osr/deaths/lifeUSMI.asp.

Here is a link to crude death rates for Michigan from the state of Michigan from 1900-2008. These are not age standardized:

http://www.mdch.state.mi.us/pha/osr/index.asp?Id=4
Scroll down to Michigan Deaths, 1900-2008.

One last source is crude and age-standardized rates for Michigan and Montcalm county from 1979-2002. These are produced from CDC Wonder. These are in the Excel spreadsheet, which is attached. Michigan is one page and Montcalm county is the other sheet. There is documentation within the spreadsheet.

The two sources (MI and CDC) produce results that are close, but not exactly the same. For instance, the number of deaths is not exactly the same across the two sources. The MI site has rates per 1000 and the CDC is per 100,000. Thus, 7.9 vs 793.

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