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Survey ranks Queens as healthiest borough in city

Elana Needle dishes out some healthy food. For 10 weeks, parents and youth participated in a program to prevent childhood obesity, held at Lost Battalion Hall in Rego Park.
TimesLedger Newspapers

For the fourth consecutive year, a nationwide survey has proclaimed Queens the healthiest county in New York City.

Queens also came in as the 19th healthiest among New York state’s 62 counties, with the Bronx ranked the least healthiest.

Livingston County in western New York was the state’s healthiest county.

Otherwise, on a state level, it was Manhattan (No. 21), Staten Island (24) and Brooklyn (49).

The data was released by County Health Rankings from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Queens had the fewest — 4,822 citywide — of what health researchers call premature deaths. These are deaths of people aged 75 or younger that are preventable.

In this category, Manhattan had 4,896 deaths, Brooklyn 6,284, Staten Island 5,746 and the Bronx 7,481.

The survey reported that people in the unhealthiest counties are dying too early at more than twice the rates of those in the healthiest counties.

“The County Health Rankings can be put to use right away by leaders in government, business, health care and every citizen motivated to work together to create a culture of health in their community,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the Robert Wood Institute president. “The rankings are driving innovation, increasing creativity and inspiring big changes to improve health in communities large and small nationwide.”

The research found:

• Child poverty rates have not improved since 2000, with more than one in five children living in poverty.

• Violent crime has decreased by nearly 50 percent over the past two decades.

• Counties where people do not live as long and do not feel as well mentally or physically have the highest rates of smoking, teen births and physical inactivity as well as more preventable hospital stays.

Queens and Manhattan both reported adult smoking at 14 percent, followed by Brooklyn at 15 percent, Staten Island at 19 percent and the Bronx 18 percent.

Although Queens was the healthiest county in New York, it reported 19 percent of its people had no health insurance. Otherwise, it was Manhattan (12 percent), Brooklyn (16 percent), Staten Island (10 percent) and the Bronx (17 percent).

As to sexually transmitted infections, Queens had 469, Manhatten 714, Brooklyn 830, Staten Island 297 and the Bronx 1,333.

The study also found the following results in their respective categories:

• Low birthrate: Queens 8.3 percent, Manhattan and Brooklyn 0.7 percent, Staten Island 5.7 percent and the Bronx 10 percent.

• Adult smoking: Queens and Manhattan 14 percent, Brooklyn 15 percent, Staten Island 19 percent and the Bronx 18 percent.

• Unemployment: Queens 8.5 percent, Manhattan 7.4 percent, Brooklyn 9.7 percent, Staten Island 8.2 percent and the Bronx 12.3 percent.

• Children in poverty: Queens 22 percent, Manhattan 27 percent, Brooklyn 34 percent, Staten Island 19 percent and the Bronx 41 percent.

• Adult obesity: Queens 22 percent, Manhattan 15 percent, Brooklyn 25 percent, Staten Island 28 percent and the Bronx 28 percent.

• Physical inactivity: Queens 28 percent, Manhattan 16 percent, Brooklyn 28 percent, Staten Island 29 percent and the Bronx 30 percent.

• Excessive drinking: Queens 28 percent, Manhattan 22 percent, Brooklyn 13 percent, Staten Island 18 percent and the Bronx 15 percent.

• Preventable hospital stays: Queens 62 percent, Manhattan 54 percent, Brooklyn 75 percent, Staten Island 60 percent and the Bronx 81 percent.

• Diabetic screening: Queens 85 percent, Manhattan 80 percent, Brooklyn 85 percent, Staten Island 85 percent and the Bronx 78 percent.

• Mammography screening: Queens 57 percent, Manhattan 65 percent, Brooklyn 57 percent, Staten Island 63 percent and the Bronx 61 percent.

• High school graduates: Queens 70 percent, Manhattan 67 percent, Brooklyn 64 percent, Staten Island 74 percent and Bronx 52 percent.

• Some college: Queens 61 percent, Manhattan 82 percent, Brooklyn 60 percent, Staten Island 64 percent and the Bronx 48 percent.

• Children in single parent households: Queens 33 percent, Manhatten 45 percent, Brooklyn 40 percent, Staten Island 26 percent and the Bronx 64 percent.

• Fast food restaurants: Queens 51 percent, Manhatten 36 percent, Brooklyn 52 percent, Staten Island 50 percent and the Bronx 63 percent.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-260-4536.

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