Cook County Medical Examiners Mortality Data

Published: 3 May 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/grwgy44rwj.1


This study used demographic data from the 2018 US census estimates, mortality data from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, and testing results from the Illinois Department of Public Health to perform bivariate and multivariate regression analyses to explore the role race plays in COVID-19 outcomes at the individual and community levels.


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Individual level analysis The Cook County Medical Examiner’s website provided COVID-19 mortality data (Accessed October 1, 2021[20]. Data elements included decedent demographics (age sex race/ethnicity zip code), primary and secondary causes of death, and date and location of death. ZCTA analysis The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) provided zip code level numbers for COVID-19 tests completed and positive cases (Accessed October 1, 2021). Decedents’ zip codes were cross-walkedcross walked with ZCTAs, which are spatial representations of US Postal Service zip code service areas, and in Chicago represent the same spatial areas. The 2018 US Census Bureau’s 5-year estimate for Cook County, Illinois, provided ZCTA level demographic data. We used the ZCTA Social Deprivation Index (SDI), a measure of ZCTA area level deprivation based on seven demographic characteristics collected in the American Community Survey ( The SDI is used to quantify the socio-economic variation in health outcomes and levels of disadvantage across ZCTAs. The seven demographic characteristics are: percent living in poverty, percent with less than 12 years of education, percent single parent households, percent living in rented housing units, percent living in overcrowded housing units, percent of households without a car, and percent non-employed adults underage 65. We added average household size, average per capita income, percent of households that spoke English and Spanish, percent of households with bachelor’s degrees as additional covariates. Mortality data after aggregation by ZCTA were merged with ZCTA level SDI and additional ZCTA-level census data described above to create the ZCTA-level data set.


Cook County Bureau of Health Services