Help with comparing disease death rates over time

Hello everyone,

I am working with a national mortality file and have pulled certain deaths for a particular disease and created crude rates by year for several years (2007-2013). These rates have been calculated at the national, regional, and state level using respective 2010 census level data for the geographic area. I am wondering if I can calculated age adjusted rate using a standard population (2010 national census population) at all three levels (i.e., national, region, state) could I then use rate difference to illustrate the change between the years and between the different geographic areas. I think this would make these rates standardized and comparable but wasn’t entirely sure. If this does make them comparable is there another statistical test I can use to compare the rates.