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Vital Statistics

Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Health Department Reports All-Time Low Death Rates and Infant-Mortality Rates in New York City
New York City’s death rate and infant mortality rate fell to all-time lows in 2009, the Health Department reported today in its year-end summary of vital statistics. Nearly 6,800 fewer New Yorkers died in 2009 than in 2002, despite a larger population, as the citywide death rate fell to 6.3 deaths per 1,000 people. Cardiovascular disease and other smoking-attributable illnesses claimed fewer lives last year than in 2008, and the city’s infant mortality rate reached an all-time low of 5.3 deaths per 1,000 live births. New Yorkers’ average life expectancy held steady at 79.4 years in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available. That figure – the longest ever recorded in New York City – represents a gain of 19 months since 2001. It exceeds the national average by more than a year. The findings come from the Health Department’s Annual Summary of Vital Statistics, the definitive record of births and deaths in New York City. The full report is available at

Second Hand Smoke

Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Health Department Launches New Ad Campaign Alerting Parents to the Dangers that Secondhand Smoke Poses to Children
No parent would intentionally subject a child to asthma, ear infections and bronchitis, let alone expose the child to cancer-causing chemicals. Yet new research from the Health Department finds that an estimated 150,000 adult smokers living with children in New York City continue to allow smoking at home. More than half of all NYC smokers (58%) still allow smokers to light up in their homes. Children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, so the Health Department is sending parents an important New Year’s message: Don’t raise a secondhand-smoke kid.

Cribs for Kids

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Health Department Program Helps Prevent Infant Deaths by Providing Cribs to Low-Income Families
Every baby needs a crib to sleep safely, but some New York City infants may be lacking cribs this holiday season, simply because their families can’t afford them. The Health Department’s Cribs for Kids program provides cribs at no-cost to families in need. Outreach workers contact new parents in eligible ZIP codes in the South Bronx, Harlem and Central Brooklyn to set up a home visit and see whether they need cribs or other assistance. The Health Department has provided cribs for more than 4,000 babies and safe sleep education to over 20,000 families, since launching its first Cribs for Kids campaign in May 2007. Yet an estimated 12,000 New York City families are still are in need.

Flu Vaccine

Thursday, December 9, 2010
New Health Department Report Underscores the Importance of Flu Vaccination, Showing that Many At-Risk New Yorkers Still Lack Protection
Flu shots have rarely been so easy to find in New York City. This year’s influenza vaccine effectively targets this year’s virus, and it’s widely available through pharmacies, clinics and doctors’ offices. Yet as of November 7, only 27% of New Yorkers had been vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates that more than half the city’s seniors – and three-quarters of its children – remain unprotected from a serious but preventable illness. Fortunately, this year’s flu season is just beginning, and there’s still time to get vaccinated. Unlike last year, when full protection required two separate vaccines, this year’s vaccine protects against three major strains of influenza: 2009 H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B. All three viruses have been detected in the United States this season.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010
New Health Department Media Campaign Shows How HIV Can Compromise Health and Well Being, Even when Treatment Controls the Infection
When you get HIV, it’s never just HIV. Treatment can control the virus and save your life, but the infection still has lifelong consequences that can range from dementia to bone loss and cancer. That is the message of a new Health Department educational campaign that debuts this week on television and the Internet. The campaign speaks directly to the city’s most heavily affected population – gay men and other men who have sex with men – in an effort to combat complacency about HIV.

Brooklyn Knows

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced an ambitious new initiative in New York City’s fight against HIV/AIDS. In a morning commemoration of World AIDS Day, the Mayor officially launched Brooklyn Knows, a community-based testing effort that aims to help a half-million Brooklyn residents learn their HIV status over the next four years, and highlighted the city’s leadership to date in making HIV testing a routine part of health care. The Mayor was joined at the Brooklyn Public Library by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, and awardees who accepted a proclamation and individual certificates for their extraordinary work in helping New York City combat the epidemic: Dr. Leonard Berkowitz, Medical Director of the PATH (Program for AIDS Treatment and Health) Center; Elaine Greeley, Executive Director of Brooklyn AIDS Task Force; Dr. Luis Freddy Molano, Assistant Vice President for HIV Programs at the Community Healthcare Network; and Dr. David Holson, Director of Emergency Medicine at Queens Hospital Center.

Brooklyn Knows

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
El alcalde Michael R. Bloomberg anunció hoy una nueva y ambiciosa iniciativa en la lucha de la Ciudad de Nueva York contra el VIH/SIDA. En una conmemoración del Día Mundial del SIDA esta mañana, el alcalde lanzó oficialmente Brooklyn Knows, un programa de pruebas médicas a nivel local que busca ayudar a medio millón de residentes de ese condado a conocer su estatus en relación con el VIH en los próximos cuatro años, y destacó el liderazgo de la Ciudad hasta la fecha haciendo de las pruebas del VIH una parte rutinaria del cuidado de la salud. En el evento, que tuvo lugar en la Biblioteca Pública de Brooklyn, se sumaron al alcalde la presidente del Concejo Municipal Christine Quinn; el presidente del condado de Brooklyn, Marty Markowitz; y el Dr. Thomas Farley, comisionado del Departamento de Salud e Higiene Mental (DOHMH, en inglés). También estuvieron presentes para aceptar una proclamación y certificados individuales las personas galardonadas por su extraordinaria labor ayudando a la Ciudad de Nueva York a combatir la epidemia, entre ellos el Dr. Leonard Berkowitz, director médico del Centro del Programa para Tratamiento y Salud del SIDA (o PATH Center, en inglés); Elaine Greeley, directora ejecutiva del Brooklyn AIDS Task Force; el Dr. Luis Freddy Molano, vicepresidente asistente de Programas del VIH en Community Healthcare Network; y el Dr. David Holson, director de Medicina de Emergencia en Queens Hospital Center.

Excessive Drinking

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
New Health Department Campaign Depicts the Dangers of Excessive Drinking
New York City is a great place to spend the holidays, but too much drink can turn a celebration into a tragedy. Alcohol kills some 1,500 New Yorkers every year, and it lands thousands more in the hospital. As the Health Department reported this month, excessive drinking prompted more than 70,000 emergency-room visits among New York City adults last year alone. In the wake of that finding, the agency is offering New Yorkers a reality check. “Two drinks ago you could still get yourself home,” says the hand-scrawled note on a sign going up in subways this week. It shows a well-dressed woman sitting slumped and alone, her belongings strewn beside her on a dingy underground stairway. In another poster, image a young man in business attire stares into the camera, bleeding and bruised after a barroom altercation. “Two drinks ago you would have walked away,” the tagline says. “Stop drinking while you’re still thinking.” The new ads will run in Spanish and English throughout the holiday season.

Cut Salt

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Health Department Announces New Company Commitments to the National Salt Reduction Initiative
Hostess, Butterball, Snyder’s of Hanover, Premio, Furmano’s and Delhaize America are the latest major food companies to sign on to the National Salt Reduction Initiative (NSRI), the Health Department announced today. These companies join 16 of the nation’s leading food makers in a nationwide effort to cut the salt in packaged and restaurant foods by 25% over five years – an achievement that would reduce the nation’s salt intake by 20% and prevent tens of thousands of deaths each year due to conditions caused by high blood pressure. The addition of these companies demonstrates their dedication to leading the food industry toward a healthier food supply.


Monday, November 22, 2010
Traffic Fatalities Are at an All-Time Low in NYC, yet Crashes Remain a Common Cause of Injury-Related Hospitalization and Death
With the holiday travel season upon us, the Health Department and the Department of Transportation (DOT) today released new research findings that highlight the need for drivers and pedestrians to pay close attention to their surroundings, even if the light is in their favor. New York City’s traffic fatality rate is just one quarter of the national average and has declined at twice the national rate in recent decades. Yet traffic accidents still rank among the city’s leading causes of injury-related death and hospitalization. NYC’s traffic fatalities occur mainly on major roadways – especially at intersections – and more than half the victims are pedestrians. The new report, Improving Traffic Safety in New York City, uses data collected from 2005 through 2009 to pinpoint the greatest risks and identify simple ways to reduce them.

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