Brooklyn Boro

Binge drinking, chlamydia and colonoscopies: New Web portal tells on New Yorkers

November 19, 2018 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Map courtesy New York City
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The neighborhoods of Brighton Beach and Coney Island have the highest death rate in New York City. There are 11.4 deaths per thousand residents in this area, versus the New York City average of 6.3.

Residents of Brooklyn Heights, on the other hand, die at the rate of 5.5 per thousand.

And trendy Bushwick has one of the lowest death rates in Brooklyn — 4.1 deaths per thousand.

The advanced age of Brighton/Coney residents likely has something to do with the high death rate, Rebecca Gluskin, Ph.D., deputy director and chief statistician for Measure of America, told the Brooklyn Eagle. Community Board 13 has the highest rate of elderly residents in Brooklyn, she said. It also has the largest number of people who haven’t exercised in the past 30 days.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Gluskin gleaned these statistics from a new web portal — data2gohealth — which dives into city, state and census databases to shine a spotlight on a neighborhood’s health. The website reports on more than 300 indicators, including demographics like race and age; behaviors including lack of exercise; and health facts like rates of different cancers, diabetes, injuries due to violence and leading causes of death. It also describes an area’s hospitals, insurance coverage and neighborhood services.

Users can type in an address or click on a map to get statistics accompanied by easy to read graphs.

Data2gohealth, which went live on Thursday, serves three main users, Gluskin said.

“One, local and community care providers with specific needs; two, health advocates and non-profits applying for grants; and three, curious people living in the city and looking at disparities, like activists and citizens.”

The portal, created by Measure of America and funded by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, also provide insights for locals curious about their neighbor’s health.

About 19 percent of Brooklyn Heights / Fort Greene residents, for example, have had no exercise in the past 30 days, and 19 percent smoke. About a fifth of them — 21 percent — binge drink. (You know who you are.)

On the other hand, women in the area are taking care of themselves: 85 percent of women over 40 have had mammograms, and 77 percent of all people over 50 have had colonoscopies. The cancer rate is on the high side compared with the rest of the city, however, especially breast cancer.

This area also has one of the highest truck traffic density scores in the city. The database says this is an indicator of higher particulate matter and lower air quality.

As a statistician, several statistics stand out to Gluskin.

“What surprises me is the high rates of chlamydia all over the city. It’s really gone up,” she said. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection.

Gluskin was also surprised by the fact that binge drinking “is high in wealthier neighborhoods.”

She is also puzzled by the high number of cyclist injuries in Bushwick, and noted the neighborhood has few Citi Bikes.

The highest rate of births in the borough occur in Boro Park / Kensington area, likely because of the large Orthodox Jewish population.

Gluskin also pointed out the dearth of hospitals in Brooklyn, “especially in South Brooklyn,” she said.

“If you look at the south eastern part, there’s a huge hospital desert. In terms of access to care, there’s definitely a long distance to get to a hospital.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said the tool “will provide a detailed perspective on health indicators in every corner of our city. Data is important in addressing health disparities, and this tool will help shift the tide toward better health outcomes for all Brooklynites.”

The portal covers the city’s 59 community districts or 42 United Hospital Fund areas, 188 neighborhood tabulation areas and 2,166 census tracts, and uses the smallest area available in its datasets.

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