• Journal: Health Services Research
  • Date: March 21, 2017
  • DOI: 10.1111/1475-6773.12480
  • Category: Scientific Research


Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, led by Reetu Verma, M.P.H., used Project Tycho data on mumps, pertussis, and rubella to evaluate the relationship between public health spending and the incidence of the three vaccine preventable diseases.


Reetu Verma

Samantha Clark

Jonathon Leider

David Bishai

Related Project Tycho Datasets

United States of America - Mumps

United States of America - Pertussis

United States of America - Rubella


Objective: To understand the relationship between state-level spending by public health departments and the incidence of three vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs): mumps, pertussis, and rubella in the United States from 1980 to 2009.

Data Sources: This study uses state-level public health spending data from The Census Bureau and annual mumps, pertussis, and rubella incidence counts from the University of Pittsburgh's project Tycho.

Study Design: Ordinary least squares (OLS), fixed effects, and random effects regression models were tested, with results indicating that a fixed effects model would be most appropriate model for this analysis.

Principal Findings: Model output suggests a statistically significant, negative relationship between public health spending and mumps and rubella incidence. Lagging outcome variables indicate that public health spending actually has the greatest impact on VPD incidence in subsequent years, rather than the year in which the spending occurred. Results were robust to models with lagged spending variables, national time trends, and state time trends, as well as models with and without Medicaid and hospital spending.

Conclusion: Our analysis indicates that there is evidence of a significant, negative relationship between a state's public health spending and the incidence of two VPDs, mumps and rubella, in the United States.

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