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'Limited' Supermarkets and High Diabetes Rates Plague Crown Heights: Report

 The Department of Health released
The Department of Health released "health profiles" for every neighborhood in Brooklyn this week.
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CROWN HEIGHTS — Rates of diabetes and hospitalization in Prospect Heights and Crown Heights are among the highest in the city while access to supermarkets is among the lowest, says a new citywide survey of health.

The report, conducted by the New York City Department of Health in 59 neighborhoods across the city, shows the profile of overall health of a “community district” — which correspond to city community board districts — in terms of dozens of categories, including rates of incarceration, infant mortality, access to health insurance and quality of housing.

The DOH released reports for 18 neighborhoods in Brooklyn on Wednesday, with plans to release all 59 by the end of the year, said health commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, who called the health profiles “the most comprehensive picture of neighborhood health that we have ever produced.”

The report’s findings in Brooklyn Community Board 8, which encompasses Prospect Heights and Crown Heights, showed the area falling below average health rates in Brooklyn in several key areas.

Rates of hospitalization — whether from drug abuse, violence or mental illness — are particularly high. Yearly, state health data found 98 out of 100,000 residents are hospitalized due to a violent assault in Prospect Heights and Crown Heights — the 13th highest rate in the city and far higher than the Brooklyn average of 66 out of 100,000. Additionally, the neighborhood ranks 10th in the city for hospitalizations due to alcohol and drugs and third for adult psychiatric hospitalizations.

The area also ranks near the bottom in terms of access to supermarkets, which the DOH described as “limited” in Prospect Heights and Crown Heights. The health department measured the category by calculating the average square footage of grocery store retail space per 100 people in each neighborhood using data from the Department of Agriculture.

In Prospect Heights and Crown Heights, every 100 residents share about 108 square feet of grocery store space, ranking it significantly lower than the Brooklyn average of 156 square feet per 100 residents (the New York City average is 177 square feet) and miles away from the neighborhood with the most grocery store space in the city: South Beach, Staten Island, which boasts 450 square feet per 100 residents.

The complete report, as well as reports for all 18 neighborhoods in Brooklyn, is available through the health department’s website.