NYC launches plan to extend average life expectancy of New Yorkers after pandemic drop

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Thursday, November 2, 2023
NYC launches plan to extend average life expectancy of New Yorkers
Lauren Glassberg has more on a new campaign to extend the average lifespan of all New Yorkers.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City officials announced a new campaign on Wednesday to extend the average lifespan of all New Yorkers.

A study released in April revealed that the pandemic and the ongoing opioid abuse cut the city's average life expectancy by 4.6 years between 2019 and 2020.

Recent data suggests that life expectancy in New York City has started to improve, with 2.7 years gained back from 2020 to 2021, however life expectancy remains well behind 2019 data.

These impacts have also not been felt equally, as life expectancy fell to 76.1 years among Black New Yorkers in 2021, compared to 81.8 years among white New Yorkers.

After the worst drop in decades, Mayor Eric Adams hopes to extend the average lifespan to 83 years by 2030, with gains across racial and ethnic groups.

HealthyNYC will organize existing city initiatives around targets for reducing the greatest drivers of early death: chronic diseases, overdoses, suicide, maternal mortality, violence and coronavirus.

"Today we're making a choice to be the healthiest big city in America, this is a campaign to take back the years stolen by COVID and all of the worsening suicides and overdoses," said NYC Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan.

The initiative has set the following goals:

-Reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes by 5 percent by 2030

-Reduce screenable cancers - including lung, breast, colon, cervical, and prostate cancers - by 20 percent by 2030

-Reduce overdose deaths by 25 percent by 2030

-Reduce suicide deaths by 10 percent by 2030

-Reduce homicide deaths by 30 percent by 2030

-Reduce pregnancy-associated mortality among Black women by 10 percent by 2030

-Reduce annual COVID-19 deaths by 60 percent by 2030

The focus will be on communities that have lost the most by offering better resources, including more reliable transportation, safer streets and healthier food options.

The strategies include providing early mental health intervention, better access to maternal health care, and more access to treatment and recovery centers to reduce overdose deaths.

They are ambitious goals that officials believe will go a long way to helping New Yorkers live healthier and longer lives.

"It's time we give New York City extra life with the launch of HealthyNYC, our campaign to help New Yorkers lead healthier, longer lives," said Mayor Adams. "Our administration is setting out to increase New Yorkers' life expectancy to over 83 years by 2030 - not only recovering years lost during the pandemic but also surpassing our previous high by tackling chronic disease, violence, maternal mortality, overdose, and more. By refocusing all of our public health work around the goal of helping people live longer lives, we'll build a healthier, more prosperous city where everyone can thrive."

Dr. Darien Sutton has more on life expectancy in New York City and the new initiative.

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