Death Over a Century: Changes in Mortality Among Buffalonian Women (1917-2017)
Amelia Liuzzi, ANT418: Seminar in Biological Anthropology
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Julie Wiezczkowski, Anthropology
The last one hundred years have seen an unbelievable number of changes for women in Buffalo, including changes in mortality. A century ago, the leading causes of death were predominantly related to infectious diseases, like pneumonia or tuberculosis. Contemporary Buffalonians are more likely to die from “man-made” mortalities, related to behavior, environment, or successfully surviving to old age. This study compares data collected from one hundred female individuals in Forest Lawn's 1917 death registers with data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's 2017 Global Burden of Disease records, looking for evidence of these trends. This study found that of the five leading causes of death, only cardiovascular disease, neoplasms, and respiratory infections remained in the top five between 1917 and 2017. Of those, only cardiovascular disease maintained its position, accounting for 34% of deaths in 1917 and 33% in 2017, the leading cause of death both years. Respiratory infections, although they managed to remain one of the leading causes of death, have decreased a dramatic 17%” the most change in any category. On the other hand, chronic respiratory disease, which is often related to smoking, doesn't even appear in the 1917 data, but has rocketed into being one of the leading causes of death by 2017. This talk will discuss the changing mortality trends of the last century, as well as the causal factors behind these changes.
Liuzzi, Amelia, "Death Over a Century: Changes in Mortality Among Buffalonian Women (1917-2017)" (2021). Psychology and Social Sciences. 10.