## Cardiovascular-Death Rate and Political PartiesL. David Roper (E-mail: roperld@vt.edu)

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(Go to data table at bottom.)

The cardiovascular-death rate (number/1000) varies greatly among the states in the United States. (See table at end for 1995-7 rates.)

An interesting question to ask is: Is there any correlation between the cardiovascular-death rate and the strength of the two political parties in the states?

I compared different state's cardiovascular-death rate (CDR) data for 1995-7 with the results of the 1996 presidential election for each state. (See table at end for votes in the 1996 election.) A correlation calculation yielded the following:

 Correlation Rate Democrat vote +0.093 Republican vote +0.104

That is, the Democratic votes for the states had a 9% positive correlation with increasing CDR and the Republican votes had a 10% positive correlation. States with high cardiovascular-death rate vote about equally Democratic and Republican.

 This is a plot of the cardiovascular-death rate (CDR) sorted by rank of the states compared to the Democratic votes and the Republican votes. (See table at end for the data.) Also shown are linear fits to the two votes. This shows visually the positive correlation of CDR with the Democratic vote and the Republican vote. Note the very high value for Mississippi (474.8).

What can one conclude from these results? Whatever factors cause the large disparity for cardiovascular-death rates between the various states also cause those states to tend to vote Democratic.

My Republican native state, Oklahoma (rate=427.8), ranked 47 of 50 and my Republican adopted state, Virginia (rate=379.3), ranked 30 of 50 for increasing cardiovascular-death rate in 1996.

 U.S. cardiovascular deaths 1995-97 1996 election State cardiovascular deaths(age adjusted per 100,000) Democrat Republican Rank Hawaii 295.7 56.9% 31.6% 1 Utah 299.9 33.3% 54.4% 2 Colorado 305.7 44.4% 45.8% 3 Minnesota 305.9 51.1% 35.0% 4 New Mexico 311.6 49.2% 41.9% 5 Alaska 316 33.3% 50.8% 6 Montana 319.2 41.3% 44.1% 7 Idaho 322.7 33.6% 52.2% 8 Arizona 322.9 46.5% 44.3% 9 Washington 324.5 49.8% 37.3% 10 Massachusetts 324.7 61.5% 28.1% 11 Wyoming 328.1 36.8% 49.8% 12 Oregon 334.3 47.2% 39.1% 13 Florida 339.5 48.0% 42.3% 14 North Dakota 340.7 40.1% 46.9% 15 Connecticut 345.4 52.8% 34.7% 16 South Dakota 345.4 43.0% 46.5% 17 California 347.5 51.1% 38.2% 18 Rhode Island 351.8 59.7% 26.8% 19 Kansas 352.6 36.1% 54.3% 20 Wisconsin 354.7 48.8% 38.5% 21 Maine 354.8 51.6% 30.8% 22 Iowa 356.3 50.3% 39.9% 23 Nebraska 359.3 35.0% 53.7% 24 Maryland 360.5 54.3% 38.3% 25 Vermont 360.5 53.4% 31.1% 26 New Hampshire 360.9 49.6% 39.6% 27 New Jersey 364.5 53.7% 35.9% 28 Delaware 375.6 51.8% 36.6% 29 Virginia 379.3 45.1% 47.1% 30 Texas 380.4 43.8% 48.8% 31 Illinois 389.9 54.3% 36.8% 32 Nevada 390.9 43.9% 42.9% 33 Pennsylvania 391.5 49.2% 40.0% 34 North Carolina 394.3 44.0% 48.7% 35 Michigan 399.1 51.7% 38.5% 36 Ohio 399.1 47.4% 41.0% 37 Indiana 401.6 41.6% 47.1% 38 New York 402.2 58.3% 30.0% 39 Missouri 408.9 47.5% 41.2% 40 Alabama 414.3 43.2% 50.1% 41 Louisiana 415.5 52.0% 39.9% 42 Georgia 417.6 45.8% 47.0% 43 Kentucky 420 45.8% 44.9% 44 Arkansas 420.8 53.7% 36.8% 45 South Carolina 423.7 44.0% 49.8% 46 Oklahoma 427.8 40.4% 48.3% 47 West Virginia 430.6 51.5% 36.8% 48 Tennessee 433.4 48.0% 45.6% 49 Mississippi 474.8 44.1% 49.2% 50