# 1 Name: ______________________ Soc 334 Online Applied Exercise #1

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Name: ______________________
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Soc 334 Online
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Applied Exercise #1: Calculating Drug Death Rates (20 points)
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Due to Canvas submission box, see Course Schedule for due date
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Complete the worksheet using the data table below.
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State Population 2017
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(millions)
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prevalence of
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opioid overdose
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deaths 2017
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Opioid overdose
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death rate per
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100,000
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prevalence of all
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drug overdose
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deaths 2017
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all drug overdose death
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rate per 100,000
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Washington 7.425 712 1129
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Idaho 1.719 106 248
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Oregon 4.147 336 514
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Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics. Multiple
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Cause of Death 1999-2017 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released 2018. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2017, as
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compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed
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at http://wonder.cdc.gov/mcd-icd10.html.
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1. Considering only the prevalence of all drug overdose deaths in 2017 column, what does the
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data depict? (i.e. which state seems to have the most opioid deaths, which state the least, how
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big do the disparities seem..). Should we trust this conclusion? Why or why not?
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2. Complete all empty cells in the data table above. Show your work below. The formula for
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calculating rates is at the end of this worksheet.
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2
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3. When looking at the rates of all drug overdose deaths in 2017 column, what does the data
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depict?
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4. Comparing your answers to question 1 and question 3, are there differences/similarities?
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What are they? Why might this be?
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5. Which state has the highest rate of opioid overdose deaths? Which state has the lowest? What
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are some social or structural factors that could potentially explain the difference in opioid
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overdose rates between the two states?
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6. If we had the data here, we could also calculate sex-specific drug overdose rates for each
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state. Using your sociological imagination, do you think men or women would have higher
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sex-specific drug overdose rates? Justify your response.
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7. Why is it important to use rates versus numbers of incidence or prevalence? That is, what is
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the advantage of using rates to examine differences in death and disease?
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3
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Formula for calculating rates
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(#disease/total population) x population unit = rate of disease per population unit
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-OR-
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# disease x population unit (i.e. 1000)/total population = rate of disease per population unit
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[where population unit might equal 1,000 or 10,000 or 100,000; as in, rate per 1,000 people.
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population unit should be appropriate for the population size]
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Be sure to include the statistic measured and the population unit used (i.e. 13 deaths per 1000
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people at WSU