November 25, 2010
STDs in the USA: Who should you avoid and where?
The CDC publishes an annual report on Health in the United States and included in the report is a “Chartbook”. It’s 574 pages long, but you can skip to page 32 for the start of the charts. There are some quite horrendous charts, especially the pie charts, that you will get a kick out of.
You can download the data on CDC Wonder. Once you create your query, you get a spreadsheet of the results, a map, and a bar chart. The bar chart is particularly poor and only allows you to pick two dimensions.
I have downloaded the data and produced an interactive dashboard via Tableau Public. Within this dashboard you can filter by Gender, Age, State and Disease. In the end, I have included all of the views from CDC Wonder, plus much more.
- The infection rate for the total US has continued to climb for all diseases combined. This is largely due to Chlamydia.
- Syphilis infection rates declined from 1996-2001, but have continued to climb since. Particularly concerning is the rate in Washington, DC.
- In fact, Washington, DC has the highest infection rate for all three diseases.
- Alaska’s overall infection rate in twice the national average, with the Chlamydia rate 86% higher than the national average. This is definitely worth looking into.
- The overall infection rate for females is more than double that for males.
- Females between the ages of 15-24 are most likely to get infection, while males are most likely between the ages of 20-24.
There are many more observations and insights to be gleaned from this dashboard. It is considerably quicker to identify outliers and trends with a simple dashboard like this than with CDC Wonder. Imagine how much more useful the “Chartbook” would be if the CDC used Tableau.
What other observations can you make?