Date of Conferral





Public Health


Patrick Tschida


Cause-specific mortality (CSM), among other global health estimates, has garnered prominence in the contemporary public health field. CSM has been associated with several factors, however, research comparing CSM for prefracking versus postfracking periods is sparse. Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is a technique of extracting oil and gas from deep underground. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the difference among mean CSM scores from 1975 through 2015 in the available cities and counties of residence in Colorado and to determine the impact of gender, marital status, county of residence, and city of residence on CSM scores (prefracking period 1975-1977 versus postfracking period 1999-2015) among adults aged 45-70 years. In this retrospective quantitative study, the socioecological model of health was used to analyze 73,251 cases obtained from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. One-way analysis of variance and multiple regression were used to analyze data. Results showed that Denver County had a higher mean CSM score compared to other counties in Colorado. Regression results revealed a significant but weak association between CSM scores and gender, marital status, city of residence, and county of residence. If gender, marital status, and county of residence can be significant predictors of CSM, this information could have social change implications by influencing decisions regarding CSM and fracking.