In a report published by the New York City Department of Health, it was made obvious that heart disease is a real cause for concern in Central Harlem. With a population of roughly 118,000, Central Harlem has an alarming heart disease related death rate of 237.8, which is significantly higher than the NYC average of 202.6 for the same. Read on as we discuss the issue further.
Heart Disease in Harlem: A Closer Look at the Grim Situation
A total of 1,251 people died due to heart disease in 2015, which puts the deadly cause ahead of cancer, diabetes, and stroke by a long shot.
Become a Harlem insider - Sign-Up for our Weekly Newsletter!
Anyone living in the area is highly advised to adopt cleaner eating habits, alongside a proper fitness regimen to counter the growth of deadly heart disease. Fitness classes are not scarce in Central Harlem or in the nearby neighborhoods, while adopting a clean diet only takes a visit to a dietician’s website. The resources are there, but widespread adoption is necessary.
Cancer Comes Second
In the same year, it was recorded by the NYC Health Department that 1,059 people died in Central Harlem from cancer alone. While the numbers are quite a bit less as compared to heart disease-related mortality, the cancer related death rate of 201.3 records even larger deviance from the New York City average of 156.7.
Fitness classes and proper diet plays a significant role here too, given that there exists a clear connection between obesity and increased risks for developing cancers.
Role of Sugar
In the above-linked census, 88% of the population in the neighborhood were found to consume at least one or more 12 oz beverage containing sugar and caffeine a day. As compared to the average of 27% in NYC, that’s once again too high for overall health of the local populace. Taking a look at the possible harmful effects of sugar as follows is advised for the purposes of self-awareness:
- Weight gain which can lead to obesity in time
- Inflammation of the arteries, plaque formation, high blood sugar and triglyceride, etc. are all related to heart disease
- Increases the risk of Type II diabetes
- Increases the risk of cancer
- Brings about a “sugar high and crash,” leading to depression
- Chromium deficiency, immunosuppressing effects and accelerated aging
- Oral health issues with rapid dental tissue loss
The Role of Smoking and Drinking Habits
1,554 people were hospitalized in Central Harlem in 2015 on account of alcohol-induced sickness or addiction. As excess alcohol consumption is directly related to obesity, heart disease and even cancers of a certain kind, it brings forth another connection between the high death rates due to cancer and heart disease in Central Harlem.
Smoking, on the other hand, is found to be rampant as well, with 17% of the local population admitting to being smokers. The relationship between cancer and smoking has been established for decades now, so that also is another cause for the increased cancer-related deaths in Central Harlem that needs to be addressed with self-awareness above all else.