Term of Award

Summer 2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Committee Chair

Hani Samawi

Committee Member 1

Ashley Walker

Committee Member 2

Stuart Tedders


Differences in colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality exist between men and women, different racial and ethnic groups, and geographical loci. However, little is known about the extent of premature death from CRC. This study investigates premature mortality as measured in years of potential life lost (YPLL) attributed to CRC in the United States from 2000 to 2010 by sex, race, ethnicity, and geography. The data used for this study was the 1999-2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Compressed Mortality File (CMF). The total number of cases was N = 598,496. CRC mortality rates and YPLL rates were calculated by sex, race/ethnicity, urban/rural, and U.S. region. Overall CRC mortality decreased by 8%. However, during this same time period YPLL from CRC saw a 9% increase. Males had higher YPLL rates compared to females. In 2010, the YPLL rate for blacks was 36% higher than those for whites and more than double those for A/PI and Hispanics. Rural areas had higher mortality and YPLL rates compared to urban areas. Although deaths from CRC are decreasing, the YPLL from CRC are increasing. Directional difference between mortality and YPLL trends suggests, although less individuals are dying from CRC, the proportion of individuals dying from CRC at younger ages is increasing. Despite reductions in disparities across racial groups and among geographical areas, marked disparities remain. These findings highlight an important growing public health problem of increasing death from CRC among younger individuals.