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City Health – Better or Not?

February 7, 2007

The New York City government recently released the Annual Summary of Vital Statistics, which showed an almost five month increase in the life expectancy of New Yorkers. Although it seems that city health has improved on a whole, the Community Health Profiles, which compare specific communities to the boroughs and to the overall city, show that neighborhoods with low income and lack of resources still face large health challenges and have the highest rates of preventable illnesses. Smoking may be down citywide, but presently 20 percent – one fifth – of all New Yorkers are obese. In neighborhoods in East Harlem and East New York, about three in 10 adults, or 30 percent, are obese. Obesity is linked to other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes – currently one in eight New Yorkers has diabetes.

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