New York Life Expectancy Rises to Record 81 Years, Mayor Says

New York Life Expectancy Rises to Record 81 Years, Mayor Says
An elderly woman sits with poll workers before voting at a makeshift polling location at PS52 in the Midland Beach neighborhood of the Staten Island borough of New York, on Nov. 6, 2012. Photographer: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg

New York City residents’ life expectancy rose to a record high of 80.9 years for babies born in 2010, 2.2 years more than the national average, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Among ethnic groups, blacks experienced the greatest increase in the past decade, with life expectancy at birth increasing 3.8 years from 2001 to 2010, the mayor said today in a news release. New York’s infant-mortality rate of 4.7 deaths per 1,000 births marked a record low and a 23 percent decrease since 2001. The rate of decline is almost twice that of the U.S. over the same period, the mayor said.

Bloomberg, 70, has pushed public-health programs, both as a philanthropist and as mayor in control of a $1.5 billion-a-year health department. He’s banned artery-clogging trans-fat food additives and workplace smoking; raised tobacco taxes; increased testing for HIV, cholesterol and blood-pressure; required restaurant chains to post calories of menu items; and limited sugary drinks in restaurants to 16 ounces.

“Our willingness to invest in health care and bold interventions is paying off in improved health outcomes, decreased infant mortality and increased life expectancy,” he said in remarks prepared for a news conference in Queens.

Additional years of expected life for 40-year-olds increased by 2.5 years from 2001 to 2010, compared with 1.3 years for the U.S., the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a news release. For 70-year-old New Yorkers, life expectancy increased 1.5 years, compared with 0.9 years for the nation.

HIV Deaths

In 2010, a 40-year-old’s life expectancy in New York City was 82.3, compared with 80.5 in the U.S.; for a 70-year-old, it was 87, compared with 85.5 nationwide, the department said.

The fatality rate from HIV infection has declined faster than other causes of death, falling 11.3 percent from 2009 to 2010 and 53 percent from 2001 to 2010. Public hospitals and clinics tested 195,516 patients for HIV in fiscal 2011, more than three times that in 2005, with about 3,400 new infections diagnosed, down 3.6 percent from 2010 and down 35 percent from 2002.

The death rate from heart disease fell by 27.1 percent from 2001 to 2010, partly because of a 30 percent drop in the number of smokers since 2002. The decline was also due to improvements in getting medication to people with high blood pressure or cholesterol, or heart disease, the administration said.

Cancer death rates decreased by 6.5 percent since 2001 to 162.9 deaths per 100,000, the health department said.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg news parent Bloomberg LP.

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