Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



This paper estimates the contribution of changes in major risk factors to mortality trends in the United States during the period 1997-2015. The risk factors investigated include cigarette smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, educational attainment, health insurance coverage, and mental distress. It uses National Health Interview Surveys followed into death records to investigate the relationship between mortality and risk factors and to identify changes in the prevalence of the risk factors over the period of observation. All models control for age, sex, and race/ethnicity. It concludes that increases in educational attainment and reductions in smoking prevalence are the most important contributors to mortality change over the period of study.


mortality, risk factors, smoking, obesity, alcohol consumption, mental health, health insurance coverage, educational attainment, NHIS, National Health Interview Survey



Date Posted: 16 June 2022