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Pr 063 Vital Statistics 2009-1

Pr 063 Vital Statistics 2009-1

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Published by: William F. B. O'Reilly on Jan 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Thomas Farley, MD, MPH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEWednesday, December 29, 2010(212) 788-5290
Health Department Reports All-Time Low Death Rates andInfant-Mortality Rates in New York City
 Deaths from many leading causes fell in 2009; Smoking-attributable mortality reached historiclow; Life expectancies has held steady at 82 years for women, 76.3 for men
December 29, 2010
– New York City’s death rate and infant mortality rate fell to all-time lows in2009, the Health Department reported today in its year-end summary of vital statistics. Nearly 6,800fewer New Yorkers died in 2009 than in 2002, despite a larger population, as the citywide death ratefell to 6.3 deaths per 1,000 people. Cardiovascular disease and other smoking-attributable illnessesclaimed fewer lives last year than in 2008, and the city’s infant mortality rate reached an all-time lowof 5.3 deaths per 1,000 live births. New Yorkers’ average life expectancy held steady at 79.4 years in2008, the most recent year for which data are available. That figure – the longest ever recorded inNew York City – represents a gain of 19 months since 2001. It exceeds the national average by morethan a year. The findings come from the Health Department’s
, thedefinitive record of births and deaths in New York City. The full report is available at nyc.gov.“New Yorkers are living longer, healthier lives than ever before,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner. “This report gives us much to be proud of. But it also highlightscontinuing challenges. Thirty percent of last year’s deaths occurred in people younger than 65, manyof which could have been prevented. As we celebrate the progress we’ve made, we should recommitourselves to fighting preventable illness – both as individuals and as a community.”
Leading Causes of Death (All Ages)
Rank Cause 2009 Deaths 2008 Deaths1
Heart Disease 20,086 21,192
Cancer 13,180 13,047
Influenza and Pneumonia 2,278 2,300
Diabetes 1,690 1,643
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases 1,529 1,605
Leading Causes of Premature Death (Under 65)
Rank Cause 2009 Deaths 2008 Deaths1
Cancer 4,4794,552
Heart Disease 3,3423,406
HIV Disease 847996
Psychoactive Substances 680707
Accidents 589618
Two of the city’s three leading causes of death – heart disease and influenza or pneumonia – claimedfewer lives in 2009 than in 2008, as did all five leading causes of premature death. And seven of thecity’s top 10 killers took smaller tolls in 2009 than in 2008. Some highlights:
Heart Disease.
Deaths from heart disease fell by more than 1,000 last year, thanks mainly toreductions heart attack and chronic ischemic heart disease. But deaths due to high blood pressure, apreventable, manageable condition that continues to affect millions of New Yorkers, continued torise. Sodium is a leading cause of high blood pressure, and Americans typically consume more thantwice the recommended limit each day – simply by eating food as it is sold in supermarkets,restaurants, and convenience stores. To address the problem, New York City is spearheading theNational Salt Reduction Initiative, which aims to lower the amount of sodium in packaged andrestaurant foods by 25% over five years. The Health Department is also working closely withprimary-care physicians to expand blood-pressure testing and improve management of high bloodpressure in people who already have it.
The total number of cancer deaths rose slightly from 2008 to 2009, but cancer causedslightly fewer
deaths (those in people under 65), Lung cancer deaths continued to fall,with 3.6% fewer deaths in 2009 than in 2008. The crude death rates for lung cancer, colon cancerand female breast cancer have all declined since 2002, thanks partly to reductions in smoking andimprovements in screening.
Influenza and pneumonia.
The number of deaths fell slightly last year – from 2,300 to 2,278 – butthe death rate for these conditions has changed little in recent years. People 65 and older account fornearly 90% of flu and pneumonia deaths. Yetrecent findingsfrom the Health Department show thatthe proportion of seniors who report being vaccinated in the previous year fell from 63% in 2002 to just 53% in 2009.
HIV disease.
For the first time since the epidemic took off in the early 1980s, the total number of deaths from HIV fell below 1,000 last year – to 933 from 1,073 in 2008. The declining death ratelikely stems from a decrease in the number of HIV diagnoses made late in the course of disease,expanded routine HIV testing and more effective care and treatment for people living with the
infection. It also reflects a sharp decline in diagnoses among certain groups. The number of HIVdiagnoses among injecting drug users has fallen steeply since 2002, thanks in part to the city’ssyringe exchange programs, and infections in newborns have been virtually eliminated throughnewborn and maternal screening and treatment. At the same time, new HIV diagnoses havecontinued to rise among men under 30 who have sex with other men.
Smoking still contributes to many of the city’s leading causes of death, but the number of smokers in New York City is down by 350,000 since 2002, and the benefits are now apparent.Approximately 7,200 deaths in the city were attributable to smoking last year – 400 fewer than in2008 and 1,500 fewer than in 2002. The decline in smoking has saved about 6,300 lives since 2002,and the annual reduction in smoking-related death is likely to grow in future years, as longer-termbenefits of smoke-free living are realized.
atersaniasity’sisparities persist in infantskshe City’s health policy initiative,Take Care New York While New Yorkers, on average,are living longer than everbefore, deep disparities persistamong different residents of different races, incomes andneighborhoods. In 2009, CentralHarlem’s age-adjusted death rwas nearly 40% higher than thecitywide average (8.8 versus 6.3deaths per 1,000 people). Othecommunity districts with highdeath rates include Morri(8.5), Brownsville and EastHarlem (8.3) and the Rockaway(8.0). Bayside enjoyed the clowest death rate, with 3.7deaths per 1,000 people,followed by Jackson Heightsand Elmhurst/Corona (3.9).Dmortality as well. Last year’rate among non-Hispanic blac(9.5 per 1,000) was nearly twicethe citywide average (5.3 per 1,000) and nearly three times the rate among non-Hispanic whites (3.4per 1,000). Asians and Pacific Islanders had the city’s lowest infant mortality rate (2.8 per 1,000).The rates among Puerto Rican and other Hispanic New Yorkers were 6.3 and 4.8 respectively.T, has monitored key health indicators overtomsthe past four years, and recently set new targets for improving health care, reducing tobacco andalcohol use, reducing disparities, and improving the health of neighborhoods. The agency’s threeDistrict Public Health Offices – located in Harlem, the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn – work address health inequalities in these high-need communities by conducting research, disseminatingdata and fostering environmental and policy changes. The Health Department also sponsors progradesigned to strengthen families and break cycles of poverty and ill health through strong parenting(e.g., the Newborn Home Visiting program and the Nurse Family Partnership).

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