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Lower Manhattan Has Highest Life Expectancy in the City, DOH Report Says

By Irene Plagianos | October 29, 2015 6:10pm
 Lower Manhattan is one of the healthiest, and most affluent areas, in the city.
Lower Manhattan is one of the healthiest, and most affluent areas, in the city.
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Dept. of Health

LOWER MANHATTAN — If you live in Lower Manhattan, you're likely to live long and prosper.

Residents of Lower Manhattan's Community Board 1, which includes TriBeCa, Battery Park City, the Financial District, South Street Seaport and the Civic Center, have the highest life expectancy in the city — 85.4 years, and also one of the lowest poverty rates, a recent study from the Department of Health found.

The DOH report detailed the general health of each of the city's 59 community board districts through analyzing dozens of categories, including rates of disease diagnoses, child asthma, housing quality, access to health care and poverty statistics.

Overall, Lower Manhattan has some of the best health stats in the city, including self-reported stats. Eighty-nine percent of Downtown residents surveyed considered their health "excellent" "very good" or "good."

The overall goal of the report is to understand how a variety of factors affect health, the DOH said.

In Brownsville, Brooklyn, for example, life expectancy is 11 years shorter than in Lower Manhattan.

The discrepancy "is not because residents of Brownsville are dying of unusual diseases, but because they are dying of the same diseases— mostly heart disease and cancer — at younger ages and at higher rate," DOH commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said in the report. "This is unfair and avoidable. A person’s health should not be determined by his or her ZIP code."

Meanwhile, Downtown neighborhoods have the lowest rate of unemployment in the city (five percent) and are tied with SoHo and the Greenwich village for highest percentage of adults with college education (84 percent).

Lower Manhattan also has the lowest premature death rate in the city (premature meaning under 65-years-old), has one of the lowest rates of obesity (eight percent), and the lowest rates of teen births and elementary school absenteeism.

The complete report — as well as profiles of all of the city's neighborhoods — is available through the Health Department’s website.