Mayor Menino Releases 2010 Health of Boston Report
Mortality rates continue to decline, fewer drug and alcohol deaths
Fewer Boston residents are dying of cancer, heart disease, injuries, and stroke, four of the five leading causes of death in the city, and Asian residents in Boston have the highest average life expectancy of any racial or ethnic group, according to the new Health of Boston report released today by Mayor Menino.
The 399-page report prepared by the Boston Public Health Commission contained plenty of good news about the health of Boston residents: Fewer substance abuse deaths, high rates of cancer screening, fewer teen pregnancies, fewer adults smokers and salmonella cases, and the near- disappearance of children in Boston with elevated lead levels.
But serious challenges remain. The report found that Boston’s black and Latino residents continue to experience higher levels of chronic disease, mortality, and poorer health outcomes compared to white residents. In 2008, the asthma hospitalization rate for black and Latino children was more than three times the rate for Asian children and four times the rate for white children. That same year, the diabetes hospitalization rate for black and Latino residents was about four times the rate for Asians and whites. For Boston’s black residents the health inequities begin early in life and persist throughout the individual’s lifespan: In 2008, the black infant mortality rate was more than four times the white infant mortality rate, and black residents had the shortest average life expectancy.