"Public health is purchasable. Within natural limitations, a community can determine its own death rate."
- Hermann M. Biggs, NYC Department of Health, 1914
The Health Department released a new report which states that the number of diabetes-related deaths in New York City for 2011 was 5,695, an all-time high. These deaths include those for which diabetes is classified as the underlying cause of death as well as those for which diabetes is classified as a contributing cause. Even as the overall death rate in New York City continues to decline, diabetes-related deaths continue to increase. Since 1990, the proportion of all New York City deaths related to diabetes nearly doubled, from 6.0% in 1990 to 10.8% in 2011. Overall, one person dies of diabetes-related causes every 90 minutes, adding up to 16 deaths a day in New York City.
The Health Department launched new ads educating New Yorkers about the added sugars found in fruit-flavored drinks, energy drinks, sweet teas and sports drinks. The new ads, which are a part of the “Pouring On the Pounds” campaign and will run on buses and TV, explain that these beverages may “sound healthy” but are packed with added sugars that lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and its serious complications. The TV ads encourage New Yorkers to replace these sugary beverages with healthier options such as water, seltzer, fat-free milk, and fresh fruit. The ads will run throughout the month of June.
The Health Department launched an ad campaign highlighting the free, confidential crisis counseling services available to help New Yorkers cope with the effects of Hurricane Sandy, particularly in Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. Project Hope crisis counselors, going door-to-door in blue vests, provide emotional support and help people find ways to cope with the traumatic impact the storm has had on their family and their lives. The ads will run in subway cars, on buses and the Staten Island Ferry beginning today through the month of August.
The Health Department is joining faith community leaders to host the eighth annual ‘Cut the Salt, Brooklyn’ awareness and health screening event tomorrow at Restoration Plaza. Free screenings for blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol will be provided, as well as information to help Brooklyn residents learn how to reduce the amount of sodium in their diet. Over the previous seven years more than 3,000 Brooklyn residents have received blood pressure screenings and information to make them aware of the potential dangers of increased sodium consumption as it relates to the risk of stroke, hypertension, and heart disease.
The Health Department announced a new dog licensing campaign beginning this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Carl Schurz Park. Health Department staff will be at events across the City from May to September to give pet owners a quick and easy way to obtain or renew a dog license. At these events, staff will use laptops to license dogs and owners will leave the event with a new dog license tag.
The Health Department released new data today showing that between 2005 and 2011, the New York City rate of overdose deaths from prescription opioid painkillers increased by 65%. While rates of opioid painkiller overdose deaths increased across all boroughs, Staten Island saw the largest increase over the last several years. In 2011, rates of opioid painkiller overdose deaths in Staten Island were four times as high as Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, increasing by 261% since 2005. Overall, 220 persons died of overdose by prescription opioid painkillers in 2011, including 40 Staten Islanders.
The Health Department unveiled new data the City’s teen pregnancy rate hit a new low, falling 30 percent in the last decade, including 5 percent just from 2010 to 2011. Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley made this announcement today at the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Diagnostic Treatment Center in the Bronx, a Health and Hospitals Corporation clinic. Commissioner Farley was joined by Dr. Amanda Ascher, Medical Director, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Diagnostic and Treatment Center, Dr. Danielle Laraque, American Academy of Pediatrics, Violet Fredericks, Policy Advisor, Office of State Sen. Gustavo Rivera and Zoe McCall, Bronx Teens Connection Member.
The Health Department released a new Epi Data Brief about the diabetes epidemic in New York City. Nearly 650,000 adult New Yorkers reported having diabetes in 2011, an increase of about 200,000 adults since 2002. In addition, an estimated 230,000 adults likely had the disease but were unaware of it. Diabetes is twice as common among obese New Yorkers. People with diabetes are at increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, and amputations.
The Health Department’s new mobile food vending regulations go into effect in a move to improve the sanitary practices of New York City’s street food vendors. The regulations clarify equipment requirements, limit the size of pushcarts, and require documentation by facilities where vending units are stored overnight. The regulations, which were announced by the Department last June, also make permit holders more accountable for actions that take place at their carts or trucks and help the Department better detect the illegal renting of mobile food vending permits.
In response to a case of Hepatitis A in a food handler at Alta restaurant in the West Village, the Health Department today urges patrons who ate dessert at the restaurant between March 23rd and April 2nd to get Hepatitis A vaccination as a precautionary measure. Hepatitis A is spread by putting something in your mouth (even though it might look clean) that has been contaminated with traces of fecal matter from an infected person. Symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin), fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea.
The Health Department launched a new ad campaign encouraging consumers to compare nutrition labels and choose products with less sodium. The ads, running in subway cars, highlight the large range of sodium in packaged foods and encourage consumers to “Compare Labels. Choose Less Sodium.” The ads will run through the month of April.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs and Health Commissioner Thomas A. Farley announced that two amicus (friend of the court) legal briefs have been filed to support the City's appeal of the lower court denial of the sugary drink portion cap rule.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Linda I. Gibbs and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley today celebrated the 10th anniversary of New York City's Smoke-Free Air Act by releasing a report highlighting the legislation's local, national and global impact.
The Health Department released new figures showing that New York City’s tuberculosis rate has dropped to a record low of 8 cases per 100,000 people, reflecting national trends and the combined efforts of the Health Department, healthcare providers and community leaders to expand TB control procedures.
Mayor Michel R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs, Health Commissioner Thomas A. Farley, Finance Commissioner David Frankel and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz announced new legislation that builds on New York City's success in reducing smoking rates over the last decade.