The Association of Changes in Local Health Department Resources with Changes in State-Level Health Outcomes

In this study researchers explored the association between changes in local health department (LHD) resource levels with changes in health outcomes via a retrospective cohort study.

The study measured changes in expenditures and staffing reported by LHDs on the 1997 and 2005 National Association of County and City Health Officials surveys and assessed changes in state level health outcomes with the America’s Health Rankings reports for those years.

The authors used pairwise correlation and multivariate regression to analyze the association of changes in LHD resources with changes in health outcomes. Increases in LHD expenditures were significantly associated with decreases in infectious disease morbidity at the state level (P=.037), and increases in staffing were significantly associated with decreases in cardiovascular disease mortality (P=.014), controlling for other factors.

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