Mayor: New Yorkers living longer

For the first time, U.S. life expectancy has surpassed 78 years.

December 27, 2011 2:37:53 PM PST
Mayor Michael Bloomberg says New Yorkers are living longer than ever.

The mayor detailed new health stats on Tuesday showing babies born in the city in 2009 have a record-high life expectancy of 80.6 years. That's an increase of 3 years since 2000 and 2½ years better than the most recently reported national average.

"If you want to live longer and healthier than the average American, then come to New York City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "By investing in health care and continuing to encourage more New Yorkers to take charge of their own health, we've experienced dramatic improvements in life expectancy. This news really does make it a happy, healthy New Year."

Bloomberg and health care officials announced the figures in a maternity ward at a Bronx hospital. They said anti-smoking initiatives and HIV prevention programs are helping city residents live longer.

The officials said drug-related deaths and the infant mortality rate also have fallen.

"Fewer New Yorkers are dying from HIV-related illness and smoking-related illnesses," said Health Commissioner Farley. "People with HIV infection are increasingly being identified through expanded HIV testing, and advances in the treatment of HIV infection are being made available to everyone with HIV sooner. Since 2002, nearly half a million New Yorkers have quit smoking and dramatically reduced their risk of heart disease and cancer that result from smoking. We will keep working to make New York City a healthier environment, which will not only lengthen life expectancy but also improve the quality of life of New Yorkers."

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