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Age-adjusted mortality rate - a weighted average of the age-specific mortality rates, where the weights are the proportions of persons in the corresponding age groups of a standard population. The standard population used for rates found on this Web site is the 1970 U.S. standard million population. All rates are expressed per 100,000 person-years.

Atlas - any volume of maps, tables, charts, and text that systematically illustrate a particular subject. In this case, the maps depict the magnitude of mortality rates for specific cancers.

Atlas online - an electronic version of the book, wherein the user can: view the text, tables, figures, and maps contained in the atlas; download or print the material; and download the mortality and geographic data used to generate the maps.

Cancer cluster - is generally defined as the occurrence of a greater than expected number of cancer cases or deaths over a short period of time in a small area, such as a neighborhood, a workplace, or medical practice. Click here for more information on cancer clusters.

Common scale (for maps) - a categorization of rates that spans the rates observed in maps for several time intervals.

Confidence interval (CI) - a range (or an interval) of values that is likely to contain the true value of the population parameter (e.g., mean, rate, proportion). A confidence interval is associated with a degree of confidence, which is a measure of how certain we are that the interval contains the population parameter. The choice 95% is very common because it provides a good balance between precision (as reflected in the width of the CI) and reliability (as expressed by the degree of confidence).

County code - unique 5-digit code representing a county. The first 2 digits represent the state, while the last 3 digits represent the county within that state. (Example: 01001 = Autauga County, Alabama). [Note: Since mortality data for Alaska and Hawaii were only available at the state level, they are considered as counties for the county maps with codes 02999 (Alaska) and 15999 (Hawaii)]. View county codes and names by state (PDF)

Customizable maps - maps generated by the user, in which the user can control certain parameters such as the number and type of ranges, scaling method (individual or common scales), and map colors.

[D] link - a text file that describes the contents of a graph or char, which can be read by a screen reader, and is, therefore, accessible to the blind or visually-impaired user. Click here for more information.

Disease codes - 3- or 4-digit standardized codes used to identify diseases. Causes of death listed on a death certificate are converted into these codes, which are then used in statistical programs to determine the rate of death (mortality rate). View disease codes for cancers included in Atlas

Download - copy an electronic file from the Internet onto the user's computer.

Drill down (Interactive mortality charts) - clicking on a state mortality rate bar to generate a county or state economic area chart for that state. Outline around bar indicates drill down capability.

File format - a format for encoding information in a file. Each different type of file has a different file format. The file format specifies first whether the file is a binary or ASCII file, and second, how the information is organized. (Definition courtesy of Webopedia).

Flash - animated graphics format that permits the display of data "behind" a bar or graph when the cursor is moved over the bar or marker on the graph. "Drill down" from state to SEA or county is also permissible under this format.

GIF - pronounced jiff or giff (hard g) stands for graphics interchange format, a bit-mapped graphics file format used by the World Wide Web . . . GIF supports color and various resolutions. It also includes data compression, making it especially effective for scanned photos. (Definition excerpts courtesy of Webopedia).

HTML - short for HyperText Markup Language, the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. . . HTML defines the structure and layout of a Web document by using a variety of tags and attributes. . . There are hundreds of tags used to format and layout the information in a Web page. . . Tags are also used to specify hypertext links. These allow Web developers to direct users to other Web pages with only a click of the mouse on either an image or word(s). (Definition excerpts courtesy of Webopedia).

Individual scale (for maps) - a categorization of rates that spans the rates observed for the time interval covered by the individual map.

International classification of diseases (ICD) - see disease codes.

Numeric scale (for graphs and charts) - a system of ordered marks at fixed intervals used as a reference standard in measurement. On this site the numeric scale is used to denote the mortality rate per 100,000 person-years.

PDF - short for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe Systems. PDF captures formatting information from a variety of desktop publishing applications making it possible to send formatted documents and have them appear on the recipient's monitor or printer as they were intended. To view a file in PDF format, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free application distributed by Adobe Systems. (Definition courtesy of Webopedia).

Range - an interval of values consisting of a minimum, maximum, and all intervening values.

Sparse data - number of deaths is considered too small to yield a stable mortality rate for a specific geographic unit (county, state economic area, or state). Based on the definition in the Atlas of Cancer Mortality in the United States, 1950-94, data were considered sparse (and not included for mapping) if: (a) the observed number of deaths was less than 6; (b) the observed number of deaths was less than 12 and the rate was not significantly different statistically from the U.S. rate; or (c) the expected number of deaths was less than 6 and the rate was not significantly different statistically from the U.S. rate. Regions with sparse data are denoted in gray on color maps, and are cross-hatched in monochrome customizable maps.

Standard million population (1970 U.S.) - the distribution of 1,000,000 people into the 18 age groups 0-4, 5-9, . . . , 80-84, 85+, based on the 1970 U.S. census. Table of 1970 U.S. standard million.

State economic area (SEA) - individual county or group of counties defined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census to be relatively homogeneous in 1960 with respect to various demographic, economic, and cultural factors. (Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census of Population: 1960, Number of inhabitants, United States summary, final report PC (1)-1A. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1966).

State economic area (SEA) code - unique 3-digit code representing a SEA. The SEA name is the name of the "capital" city for that SEA. (Example: 001 = Birmingham, Alabama). [Note 1: Since mortality data for Alaska and Hawaii were only available at the state level, they are considered as SEAs for the SEA maps with codes 507 (Alaska) and 508 (Hawaii). Note 2: In the downloadable files, the SEA code consists of 5 digits: "57" + the 3-digit SEA code].
View SEA codes and names by state (PDF)
View county to SEA relationship (PDF)

SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics is a vector graphics language written in XML. Using SVG, graphics can be coded directly into an XML document. Benefits of SVG include: smaller file sizes than regular bitmapped graphics such as GIF and JPEG files; resolution independence, so that the image can scale down or up to fit proportionally into any size display on any type of Net device; text labels and descriptions for searchability; ability to link to parts of an image; complex animation . . . (Definition excerpt courtesy of Webopedia).

URL - Abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator, the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. (Definition courtesy of Webopedia).