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Volume 18, Number 7—July 2012


Changing Socioeconomic Indicators of Human Plague, New Mexico, USA

Anna M. Schotthoefer1Comments to Author , Rebecca J. Eisen, Kiersten J. Kugeler, Paul Ettestad, Pamela J. Reynolds, Ted Brown, Russell E. Enscore, James Cheek, Rudy Bueno, Joseph Targhetta, John A. Montenieri, and Kenneth L. Gage
Author affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA (A.M. Schotthoefer, R.J. Eisen, K.J. Kugeler, R.E. Enscore, J.A. Montenieri, K.L. Gage); New Mexico Department of Health, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA (P. Ettestad, P.J. Reynolds [retired]); New Mexico Environment Department, Santa Fe (T. Brown [retired]); Indian Health Services, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA (J. Cheek); Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services, Houston, Texas, USA (R. Bueno, Jr.); and City of Albuquerque Division of Environmental Health, Albuquerque (J. Targhetta)

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Table 2

Socioeconomic indicators and human plague cases among CBGs, New Mexico, USA*

Indicator 1976–1985
% Positive OR (95% CI) % Positive OR (95% CI) % Positive OR (95% CI)
Population in poverty†
High 64.1 1.81 (1.05–3.12) 55.2 1.24 (0.58–2.65) 35.0 0.52 (0.21–1.34)
Low 35.9 44.8 65.0
Value of homes
High 40.6 0.64 (0.38–1.10) 51.7 1.07 (0.50–2.27) 75.0 3.11 (1.11–8.71)‡
Low 59.4 48.3 25.0
Housing 0–5 y old
High 48.4 0.93 (0.55–1.58) 65.5 1.97 (0.90–4.34) 75.0 3.14 (1.12–8.79)‡
Low 51.6 34.5 25.0
Incomplete plumbing§
High 84.4 6.68 (3.31–13.49)‡ 65.5 1.97 (0.90–4.34) 55.0 1.23 (0.50–3.04)
Low 15.6 34.5 45.0
Use of wood fuel
High 84.4 6.68 (3.31–13.49)‡ 79.3 4.17 (1.66–10.44)‡ 75.0 3.14 (1.12–8.79)
Low 15.6 20.7 25.0

*Boldface indicates significant associations (p<0.05). CBGs, census block groups; OR, odds ratio.
†Defined by the US Census Bureau as the proportion of the population living near or below the federal poverty line, which is based on household income adjusted for number of household members. The definition of the federal poverty line changed between the 1980 and 1990 censuses, Therefore, rates are not directly comparable across decennials.
‡Variables that continued to be significant after controlling for presence of ecotone habitat.
§Defined by the US Census Bureau as lacking >1 of the following: hot and cold piped water, a flush toilet, and a bathtub or shower. Values are not directly comparable among censuses. In 1980, a housing unit was considered to have complete plumbing only if plumbing fixtures were for exclusive for the residents of that unit. In 1990, the requirement of exclusive use was dropped.

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1Current affiliation: Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, Wisconsin, USA.