Term of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health in Biostatistics (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.


Department of Biostatistics (COPH)

Committee Chair

Robert Vogel

Committee Member 1

Hani Samawi

Committee Member 2

Haresh Rochani


The overarching goal of public health research is to eliminate diseases and prolong lives. The concept of life table analyses to measure the impact of eliminating a cause of death was first introduced by Daniel Bernoulli when he used mathematics to show changes in life expectancy if smallpox were hypothetically eliminated in the population. Since then, considerable work has been done in developing the mathematics of cause-elimination using a competing-risks framework. In this dissertation, we apply single and multiple decremental life table methods to examine the potential increase in life expectancy among the United States population when some of the top-leading causes of death are assumed to be completely eliminated. In addition, considering that human life is finite, we assess the probability of death from other “emerging” causes of death following the complete elimination of all types of cancer as well as the impact on quality-adjusted life years. Lastly, we examine whether a complete elimination of deaths from all types of cancer will reduce healthcare costs. This is important for health planning, resource allocation and the setting of public health policy.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


Available for download on Wednesday, April 16, 2025