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Covid-19 cut Boston life expectancy by more than two years, but by even higher amounts among Blacks, Hispanics and Asian-Americans, report finds

The Boston Public Health Commission reports on the deadly impact of the Covid-19 pandemic:

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, average life expectancy decreased by 2.4 years for Boston residents. The pandemic also exacerbated racial and ethnic health inequities. Latinx residents experienced the greatest decrease in life expectancy (-4 years), followed by Black residents (-3.3 years), and Asian residents (-3 years). White residents had the smallest decrease in life expectancy (-1.1 years).

BPHC says this was on top of previous life-expectancy disparities, most notably a 23-year gap between residents of one overwhelmingly White census tract in the Back Bay and one overwhelmingly Black tract not far away in Roxbury:

Most notable is the nearly 23-year gap between a census tract in Back Bay where the life expectancy is 91.6 years and a census tract in Roxbury where life expectancy is 68.8 years. While this difference is lower than previous estimates that noted a 33-year disparity between census tracts (2003-2007), these findings indicate that significant challenges remain to advance health equity across the city of Boston.

The commission continues it found consistent health disparities between White residents and other groups in the city, including in cancer, heart disease, asthma and diabetes.

Neighborhoods: 


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Comments

Would be interesting to see the life expectancy differences between that Back Bay tract and all others across the city. Just to show the stickiness of class differences and their knock on effects as well.

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https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data-visualization/life-expectancy/index.html

Click MA to zoom in - it shows data by census tract.

If you really want to take a deep dive on all sorts of health equity stats, may I recommend the following:

Massachusetts Public Health Information Tool (PHIT): https://www.mass.gov/orgs/population-health-information-tool

Massachusetts Environmental Justice Tool: https://www.mass.gov/dph/EJ-tool

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I'm going to check that site out, but it is a bit dated data.

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ETA: Full reports available here: https://www.boston.gov/government/cabinets/boston-public-health-commissi...
Mortality report link: https://www.boston.gov/sites/default/files/file/2023/05/HOB_Mortality_LE...

This analysis used data that is publicly available, but it needs to be compiled and computed. Death data are public but need to be requested such that they are exported in a form that can be analyzed, and this requires data agreements. BPHC usually has students from one of the public health programs doing these analyses as a master's thesis project. DPH sometimes has them doing these sorts of things, too. This was sufficiently detailed that it likely had staff or a contractor handle it.

So this is public data, but data that has been crunched to produce life expectancy numbers and released in this form, not data they just got somewhere. The MAPC website may have some similar analyses available for earlier years and different geographies.

Health departments in MA find that certain disease outcome data is difficult to obtain in useful ways due to privacy issues. So it takes time to compile those stats and make them publishable.

(I knew the linked data are old - I provided the link as a pre-covid baseline, as the poster was wondering what the impacts were over time. Well before COVID, the Trump administration went to war on data, so there has been a lot of catching up going on in federal agencies.)

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By focusing its efforts on the advantaged populations the BPHC can quickly achieve more equality.

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What is that supposed to mean?

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And if it makes any sense or has any point or is clever or funny in any way, it is lost on me

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