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Press Release

Press Release # 034-13
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: (347) 396-4177
Jean Weinberg/Diane Hepps:

Health Department Releases Progress Report on City’s Take Care New York 2012 Health Agenda

Major Milestones Include Declines in Infant Mortality Rate, HIV/AIDS Related Deaths and Premature Deaths from Major Cardiovascular Disease

September 25, 2013 – The Health Department today released its five-year progress report on Take Care New York 2012: A Policy for a Healthier New York showing progress in nearly all of the priority areas set forth in the 2012 agenda. Life expectancy for New Yorkers is at a record high, since 2007 fewer New Yorkers are smoking, and major strides have been made in reducing mortality from HIV/AIDS and premature cardiovascular disease. The City has also seen increases in HIV testing, improved air quality, and decreased teen pregnancy rates. Influenced by New York City’s health initiatives, the life expectancy at birth in 2010 in New York City is 80.9 years – 2.2 years greater than the national average of 78.7 in 2010. 

Take Care New York is the City’s comprehensive health policy agenda to help New Yorkers live longer and healthier lives. First launched in 2004, Take Care New York identified 10 steps New Yorkers could take to improve their health. Building upon the successes of this agenda, Take Care New York 2012 was launched in 2009 with a new set of 10 priorities, selected for their public health importance and potential for improvement, together with strategies for improvement and measurable goals.

“We have made great progress in Take Care New York 2012, achieving many of the goals we set out,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “Over the last five years, the New York City Health Department and itspartners have focused their attention on the leading causes of preventable illness and death among New Yorkers. The combined result is that New Yorkers are now living longer and healthier lives than ever before.”

This report follows the two-year progress report, Take Care New York 2012: Tracking the City’s Progress 2009-2010, and highlights the agency’s work in promoting the 10 key health improvement areas over the last five years through a three-pronged approach –  policies, prevention, and health promotion – to address each priority area.

Despite progress made in the majority of the TCNY 2012 targets, the data show that the Health Department and its partners must work to increase condom use among men who have sex with men and to promote treatment for New Yorkers suffering from psychological distress. Although the smoking rate fell toward the 2012 target, the Health Department must strengthen its efforts to reduce the proportion of adults who smoke below 15.5%. New Yorkers living in high poverty neighborhoods and in certain racial and ethnic groups still experience higher rates of preventable illness and premature death.

TCNY 2012 defines 42 health indicators, with core indicators for each of the 10 priority areas tracking progress toward five-year targets. The agenda also includes specific goals to reduce health disparities in each priority area across race/ethnicity, individual and neighborhood poverty and education levels. Outlined below are a few successes from the TCNY 2012 strategy:

Core Indicator Milestones
  • Between 2006 and 2010, preventable hospitalizations in New York City fell by 13%.
  • 15.5% of adult New Yorkers report smoking. This marks a 28% decline in the percent of adult New Yorkers who smoke since 2002, when the Health Department launched its comprehensive efforts to reduce tobacco use. Youth smoking in NYC has also been cut by more than half since 2001, to 8.5% from 17.6%.
  • The percent of adults who consume one or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day declined from 35.9% in 2007 to 28.2% in 2012.
  • The age-adjusted premature death rate of cardiovascular disease decreased from 54.3 deaths per 100,000 in 2007 to 44.2 in 2011, an 18.6% drop citywide. The overall age-adjusted cardiovascular death rate dropped by 23.1% from 2007 to 2011.
  • Teen pregnancy rates decreased from 84.9 in 2007 to 69.2 per 1,000 in 2011 among females ages 15 to 19, surpassing the target of 72 per 1,000.
  • Adults 50 years of age and older who had a colonoscopy in the last 10 years increased from 61.7% in 2007 to 68.5% in 2012.
Indicator targets surpassed in the 4 years
  • The age-adjusted HIV/AIDS death rate decreased from 13.2 deaths per 100,000 in 2007 to 8.7 per 100,000 in 2011, exceeding the 2012 target of 10.0 per 100,000. The racial/ethnic disparity gap of HIV/AIDS death rates between whites and blacks also narrowed from 26.8 per 100,000 in 2007 to 17.7 per 100,000 in 2011, surpassing the target of 21.0 per 100,000, revealing record improvements.
  • The number of sexually active women younger than 26 years old screened for chlamydia infection increased from 51.4% in 2007 to 78.0% in 2011, far surpassing the 2012 target of 55.3%.
  • New York City’s infant mortality rate decreased from 5.4 per 1,000 in 2007 to 4.7 per 1,000 in 2011, surpassing the goal of 5.0 per 1,000.
  • Air quality improved throughout New York City, narrowing the gap in sulfur dioxide levels between the most and least polluted neighborhoods from 4.7 ppb in 2007 to 3.6 ppb in 2011, exceeding the target of 3.9 ppb.
  • The number of adults who are not physically active decreased from 29.2% in 2005 to 22.2% in 2012, surpassing the 2012 target of 25%.

Since the launch of TCNY 2012, the Health Department has implemented numerous programs and policies to improve the health of New Yorkers and reduce health disparities, accomplishing many of the Health Department’s goals, including:

  • Successfully encouraging over 2,500 health care providers across the City to adopt electronic health records.
  • Expanding the Smoke-Free Air Act in 2011 to prohibit smoking in parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas.
  • Issuing approximately 500 mobile Green Cart permits to increase the availability of fresh produce in the City’s most underserved neighborhoods.
  • Leading the National Salt Reduction Initiative, resulting in 21 national food companies voluntarily cutting salt content in their products by as much as 30%.
  • Working with hospitals to encourage more efficient and routine HIV screenings in clinical settings.
  • Providing technical assistance on the implementation of the New York 911 Good Samaritan drug overdose law, which provides legal protection for people who call 911 if they witness or experience a drug overdose.
  • Developing real-time communication between the Citywide Immunization Registry and 11 electronic health record systems. At the end of 2012, more than 290 New York City providers were reporting patient immunizations electronically to the Citywide Immunization Registry.
  • Decreasing the number of childhood lead poisoning cases in New York City by 17% from 2010 to 2011, marking an historic low in NYC.
Getting Involved in Taking Care of New Yorker’s Health

More than 600 organizations have joined Take Care New York as partners, including businesses, community groups, schools, and health care organizations. Partners implement ‘Ideas for Action’ including advertising free mental health helplines to one’s employees, members and patients, and joining the Coalition for a Smoke-Free City to raise awareness about tobacco control issues.

About the Report

Take Care New York incorporates program and surveillance data from across the Health Department, including Community Health Surveys from 2002 through 2012, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey from 2007 through 2011, Vital Statistics data from 2002 through 2011 and data from the New York State Department of Health. For more information on Take Care New York, including information on how to become a partner, visit or call 311.

Five-year progress report on Take Care New York 2012: A Policy for a Healthier New York (PDF)