Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis - Campus Access


Economics (ECON)


Background: Social determinants of health are the environmental conditions where individuals live, work, etc., that affect health outcomes and qualities of life. There are significant health disparities in the United States and at the state-level in California, and there are many factors and social conditions that accurately predict individuals’ health, life expectancy, and quality of life. Experimental Design: Statistical analysis of data from the Centers of Disease Control on diabetes, obesity, and cancer incidence and prevalence of smoking was conducted, and the regression outputs were reported. Comparison of the cancer incidence to 5-year mortality rates in the United States by race/ethnicity was also completed to differentiate between the health disparities of being diagnosed with cancer and dying from cancer. Results: Race/ethnicity, education, income, age, and health insurance coverage (and other comorbidities like diabetes, obesity, and smoking habits, in the case of cancer) all have varying impacts on the incidence of diabetes, obesity, smoking habits, and cancer. Race/ethnicity and annual household income in particular have significant effects on the prevalence of these conditions. Conclusion: Health disparities in the United States and in the state of California are prevalent and persistent. Race/ethnicity and income are especially impactful predictors of health outcomes.