Degree Name

MPH (Master of Public Health)


Public Health

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Timothy E. Alich

Committee Members

Joanne Walker Flowers, John Wanzer Drane


Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States despite public health campaigns aimed at reducing its rate of mortality. Kentucky is the state with the highest lung cancer incidence and mortality. This study aims to assess the impact of misclassification of cause of death from Lung Cancer in Kentucky for the period 1979 to 2002. We will examine the potential competing classification of death for two other smoking-related diseases, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Emphysema. Age-adjusted mortality rates for these diseases for white males were obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics. There was little evidence that any misclassification between COPD or Emphysema mortality rates was in agreement with the rising lung cancer rates in Kentucky. The long-term increase in lung cancer mortality in Kentucky is likely because of a combination of risk effects between smoking and other risk-factors for this disease.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.