Good news and bad news in Boston health report

A city analysis of public-health data from 2016 and 2017 shows Bostonians are having healthier babies and are less likely to grow up smoking, or do lots of binge drinking or have unsafe sex than in years past. But the numbers also show a rapid rise in opioid deaths and too many of us are anxious and torpid - fewer Bostonians are exercising and rates of certain chronic diseases remain unchanged.

The report by the Boston Public Health Commission also finds "stark differences" in health numbers for different racial and ethnic groups:

Black and Latino residents continue to experience higher rates of preterm birth, asthma, hypertension, obesity, and a host of other conditions compared with their White counterparts. Asian residents had higher rates of low birthweight births and tuberculosis than White residents. White residents had higher rates of mortality due to substance use than Asian, Black, and Latino residents. In addition to persistent racial and ethnic inequities, the report highlights differences in health outcomes between men and women, between residents of public housing and homeowners, between low income and higher income residents, and several other groups that may be at increased risk for poor health.

Health of Boston: 2016-2017 (153M PDF).

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Comments

Maybe I don’t run? Maybe I

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Maybe I don’t run? Maybe I have bad knees and can only use certain kinds of equipment? Maybe I just want to lift weights? Maybe you baffle me?

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Disabled people use gyms

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Someone who is disabled may need to drive to the gym but be able to use any apparatus that doesn't use the disabled limb, or use it as PT for a limb that's not able to function for walking a 2-mile round trip. Someone who's at great risk of harm if they fall on the ice may be able to use a treadmill or eliptical machine or rowing machine.

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Torpid

Shut up, you're torpid, not me. Anyways, It's been a cold winter and I'm starting running this weekend. What, I was going to leave just one piece of left over pizza? Better to eat it now. It's not my fault my kid didn't finish their waffles and I wasn't going to just throw out a perfectly good waffle. Plus this sweater is kind of bulky and that's part of it and these jeans got dried too long and shrank, I'm not any fatter than I was. I was going to ride my bike to work today but it was too icy. What, you want to crash and die just to fit into your body norms? What if I get attacked by a coyote pack? Or a turkey herd? Or even one aggressive turkey? If there was more snow, I'd be getting more exercise shoveling so that's a factor too.

I am anxious a lot, I will admit to that though because, you know, the news...

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So in other words...

We need more bike lanes in the projects!! And white people have finally surpassed minorities in the overdose department! Progress!!

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We do need more bike lanes in the projects

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Of course, you would rather sit there all torpid and not bother to notice what the BCU and Massbike have been pushing all along in terms of economic equity.

Not having cars helps people not be poor, you know.

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How did they come up with

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How did they come up with that statistic? What about all the white residents of surrounding suburbs (Quincy, Winthrop, Cambridge, Somerville, etc.) who end up in Boston for a long period of time on the streets, or staying at another user's place in Roslindale (Boston), and have an opioid addiction problem and/or overdose? Or a Boston homeless shelter? Or stay at a Recovery House in Boston or list their address of Pine Street Inn when they are really still nonresidents of Boston? Are they considered Bostonians with Boston addresses ?? Were the statistics pulled from Death Certificates in Boston City Hall ?? How many of those Death Certificate show a "domicile" of outside of Boston but because the death happened on Methadone Mile, the death certificate is on record at Boston City Hall. Just curious. I suppose I could try to find the answer in the 671 - page pdf, but I'm on my lunch hour right now.

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Page 556 is embarrassing.

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Page 556 is embarrassing. Boston Health Commission needs to do more to help the black community.

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Quite the data compilation

Very impressive and comprehensive. Going to take me a while to sift through all of this.

For the rambling commenter above: Boston doesn't count and assort deaths, the commonwealth provides the surveillance data for Boston residents - not everyone who dies in Boston is a Boston resident. Not with the huge hospitals here. This is usually a function of last known address - homeless are a separate category.

Check out the fun "Death" chapter (p.620)

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It’s interesting that the general correlation of socioeconomic status with health outcomes doesn’t hold consistently.

E.g., life expectancy and premature mortality numbers for Latinos are significantly better than for whites, even though Latinos suffer more under the negative “social determinants of health” like poverty.

And differences in gender overwhelm racial disparities so, for example, the premature mortality rate for white men (257/100k) is much greater than for black women (200).

Life expectancy:
Boston: 80
Women: 82.8
Men: 77
Asian: 86.9
Black: 77.6
Latino: 83.3
White: 79.5
Neighborhoods range from the high in Back Bay/Beacon Hill/Downtown at 84.5 to the lowest in South Boston at 77.1.

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