Health Dept., Releases Harlem Uptown Health Profiles

October 23, 2015

east-harlem11The Health Department today released its Manhattan Community Health Profiles, detailing the health of all 12 community districts in the borough.

Each Profile outlines the health of a Manhattan community district using indicators of neighborhood conditions, social and economic conditions, healthy living, health care, and health outcomes.

in East Harlem 31 percent of the residents live below the Federal Poverty Level and nearly half of the residents spend more than 30 percent of their monthly gross income on rent.

This year, to create a broader picture of neighborhood well being, the agency added non-traditional health indicators to the Profiles, such as housing quality, the number of tobacco retailers per 10,000 people, and the supermarket square footage per 100 people. For all of indicators the Community Health Profiles offers a contrast between high and low performing community districts, the borough, and the city as a whole. Overall, while the Profiles reveal that there are many neighborhoods in very good health, there are significant health inequities that persist in Manhattan neighborhoods: for example, in East Harlem 31 percent of the residents live below the Federal Poverty Level and nearly half of the residents spend more than 30 percent of their monthly gross income on rent. The profiles were released at the Manhattan Borough Service Cabinet meeting. The Manhattan and Brooklyn Profiles can be found at The complete set of 59 Community Health Profiles will be available online at the end of the year.

“The Health Department’s Community Health Profiles represent the most comprehensive picture of neighborhood health that we have ever produced, including not only traditional measures of health, but indicators that offer a larger health portrait of a neighborhood such as housing and air quality, supermarket space, and school absenteeism,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Our goal is to put this information into the hands of elected officials, providers, institutions, community-based organizations and, most importantly, neighborhood residents themselves so we can truly work together to reduce health disparities across all five boroughs.”

“By compiling Community Health Profiles for neighborhoods in each borough, this administration is tackling the hard work of planning ahead,” saidManhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Robust planning and a holistic approach that accounts for things like housing, environmental factors, and access to healthy food are the keys to making all of our neighborhoods healthier. I look forward to working with the Health Department to leverage the information and insights in these neighborhood profiles.”

“The Community Health Profiles allow health providers like ourselves to focus our energies on the most pressing and devastating health issues in their communities we serve,” said Dr. Neil Calman, President and CEO of the Institute for Family Health, one of the largest federally qualified health center networks in New York State, with seven locations in Manhattan. “Clear health data presented in this compelling way makes it easier for us to tailor our outreach, our prevention efforts and our disease management programs to residents’ needs.”

A Community Health Profile will be produced for every community district in the city. Every Profile begins with a “Who We Are” section, which outlines the population in that district with a breakdown by ethnicity and age. Further, it includes the percentage of those who reported their own health as ‘excellent,” very good,” or “good,” and the life expectancy of residents in that district. The Profile is then broken down into five data sections:

(New Indicators) Neighborhood Conditions

·         Housing Quality

·         Air Pollution

·         Retail Environment

Social and Economic Conditions

·         Adult Education Attainment

·         Income

·         (New) Children and Adolescents

·         (New) Incarceration

·         (New) Violence

Healthy Living

·         Self-reported Health

·         Smoking, Diet and Physical Activity

·         Obesity and Diabetes

·         Substance Use

Health Care

·         Access to Health Care

·         Prevention and Screening

Health Outcomes

·         New HIV Diagnoses

·         Stroke

·         Mental Health

·         Child Asthma

·         Adult Hospitalizations for Asthma

·         Adult Hospitalizations for Diabetes

·         Leading Causes of Death

·         Infant Mortality and Premature Death

For reference, each data point is compared to the best performing community district, the borough, and New York City as a whole.

Over the coming several weeks and months, Health Department will meet with community organizations, medical providers, community boards, and elected officials to present the Profiles and discuss health issues that each community is facing.  New Yorkers can also get the latest information on their neighborhoods by going to and searching for “Community Health Profiles.”

Some findings from the Harlem and Northern Manhattan Community Health Profiles:

  • In East Harlem 31 percent of the residents live below the Federal Poverty Level. About one in eight East Harlem adults aged 16 and older is unemployed, and nearly half of residents spend more than 30 percent of their monthly gross income on rent. Drug and/or alcohol related hospitalizations rates are more than double the rates in Manhattan and the city as a whole. The leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer; however, the death rate attributable to HIV is more than three times the citywide average.
  • In Washington Heights and Inwood over a third of adults have college degrees, but a high percentage have not completed high school. Adults in the community district are more likely to consume sugary drinks and are less likely to get physical activity than adults NYC. The rate of asthma hospitalizations among children children aged 5 to 14 is lower than the citywide average. Adults in Washington Heights and Inwood are less likely to get a flu shot than their citywide counterparts, but they are more likely to get tested for HIV than adults citywide.

For these Community Health Profiles, the Health Department used community districts established by local law in 1975. The community districts correspond to local Community Boards. The former reports had used United Hospital Fund areas. The Health Department used several data sources to produce these Community Health Profiles. These included the U.S. Census American Community Survey (ACS), the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Community Health Survey, an annual, random-digit-dial telephone survey of approximately 9,000 adults conducted each year in New York City, DOHMH Vital Statistics, the New York State Department of Health Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System, which provides hospitalization data in New York City, the NYC Housing and Vacancy Survey, the NYC Community Air Survey, DOHMH Citywide Immunization Registry, and the DOHMH HIV/AIDS Surveillance Registry. Other data were provided by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, the NYC Department of Education, the NYC Department of Corrections, and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

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