Cardiovascular disease and neoplasms, or cancers, accounted for half of the deaths in Colorado during this time frame. In relative numbers, Colorado has seen an improvement in health indicators observed in the study over the last 29 years, with mortality and disability rates accounting for an aging population.
Researchers estimated that the number of deaths in the state nearly doubled, from 21,171 to 40,724 deaths in 1990 and 2019, respectively.
- Premature deaths due to HIV/AIDS decreased by 82%, and transportation injuries dropped by 40%
- Top risk factors for premature deaths were use of tobacco, drug use, high body-mass index, alcohol use and high blood sugar
- Substance use increased by 140%, while diabetes and kidney disease climbed by 30%
- Top causes for disability and deaths combined were low back pain, opioid use disorders, ischemic heart disease, musculoskeletal disorders and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The research was published Dec. 28 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Researchers used data from the Global Burden of Disease Study produced by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
Rojas-Rueda teamed up on the research with Jen Roux, who recently completed a master’s degree from the Colorado School of Public Health at CSU. The analysis provides a big-picture look at the health status of residents in Colorado, just prior to the pandemic.