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Studying mortality rates in the California Teachers Study

The research question:

How do mortality rates in the California Teachers Study compare to the general population of California?

Background: Prior research has suggested that teachers may have lower rates of death (also known mortality rates) than workers in other industries. The goals of this project are to 1) examine whether mortality rates for teachers have changed over time and 2) evaluate how rates of death in the California Teachers Study (CTS) compare with rates of death in the state of California. In other words, is there a significant difference between what has happened in the CTS and what happened in California as a whole?

Meet the researcher: Jason Monroe is a Senior Clinical Information Data Analyst in the Division of Informatics at City of Hope where he is responsible for using data to understand health trends. In his role, Mr. Monroe uses different data analysis programs like R, SQL, and Python to analyze data from Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and other data sources. He extracts and summarizes data and creates reports that are used for grant applications, manuscript publications, and COH operational requests. Mr. Monroe’s research interests include cancer survivorship and how the social determinants of health (SDOH) pertain to chronic diseases.

What makes this project unique: The California Teachers Study (CTS) is now more than 25 years old. Having 25 years’ worth of data gives us a chance to compare long-term mortality patterns in the CTS with mortality trends for the general population in California.

Studies like the CTS rely on the assumption that our study participants have similarities to the broad public. This is important because it means that CTS findings are applicable to the broader population. For this project, we will look at the top causes of death (e.g. Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease) and compare rates for these diseases to the general population. This analysis will help us quantify and understand how similar or different mortality in the CTS is from mortality in California.

The questionnaire answers used:

Questionnaire 1

-          Race/ethnicity

-          Age


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