[Excerpt] About 15 members of the Board of Alders stuck around after Monday night’s meeting to hear the results of a city health data report, a presentation that featured a ward-by-ward breakdown of the biggest health risks facing residents.
“We need to work on community engagement and we cannot do it without every one of you here,” said Martha Okafor, head of the city’s Community Services Organization. “Look at the data and look at what is happening in your wards. It has to happen in the neighborhood. It cannot happen in City Hall.”
Okafor and Amanda Durante, an epidemiologist at the Health Department, led alders through a PowerPoint overviewaimed at raising awareness of the culprits that have served as the biggest killers of city residents over various time periods.
Several notable statistics include:
• Heart disease, cancer, accident, premature birth and assault are the five leading causes of death in the city,
• Smoking-associated deaths made up roughly 10 percent of all city fatalities between 2002 and 2011.
• A total of 1,169 city residents died as a result of smoking between 2002 and 2011, with lung cancer the leading killer at 391 deaths.
• A 2012 DataHaven well-being survey showed that in low income neighborhoods, 26 percent of respondents identified themselves as smokers. The number for middle income neighborhoods came in at 25 percent while high income neighborhoods checked in at 6 percent.
• Between 2007 and 2011, more than 40 percent of all accident-related deaths were attributed to poisoning. Durante pointed out that poisoning equated to 74 deaths attributed to drug overdose and one death that was attributed to lethal chemical exposure.
• Between 2008 and 2012, 96 percent of all firearm-related deaths were incurred by men. Approximately 73 percent of those men were African Americans and 58 percent of all firearm-related deaths involved people between the ages of 20 and 29. Only 6 percent of deaths involved people more than 40 years old.
• In 2012, DataHaven’s well-being survey listed 19 percent of all adults as suffering from asthma. A 2014 public school survey discovered that 14 percent of all students also suffered from asthma.
• In 2012, the survey determined that 12 percent of city residents suffer from diabetes. That same year, the survey discovered that 64 percent of city adults were classified as either obese or overweight.