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Jamaica Has Highest Rate of Infant Mortality in the City, DOH Report Says

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | November 18, 2015 7:21am
 The number of supermarkets is much lower in Jamaica than the citywide average.
The number of supermarkets is much lower in Jamaica than the citywide average.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — Jamaica has the highest infant mortality rate in the city, according to an analysis released by the city's Health Department on Tuesday.

The infant mortality rate in Community Board 12, which also includes Hollis and St. Albans, is nine per 1,000 live births.

That’s nine times higher than the Upper East Side, where the rate is one per 1,000 live births.

Citywide, the infant mortality rate is 4.7 per 1,000 live births, according to the Queens Community Health Profiles report, which describes the health of 14 community districts in the borough, based on various social and economic factors, such as housing quality, education, income, healthy living and access to health care.

The report also revealed that the leading causes of death in the neighborhood, like for most New Yorkers, are heart disease and cancer. But the rate of diabetes in CB12 is higher than Queens and citywide rates.

Diabetes is the third most common cause of death in Jamaica, but it is only the fourth leading cause citywide.

Adults in the area consume more sugary drinks than the average consumer in both the borough and the city. About 35 percent of residents drink at least one 12- ounce sugary beverage per day, compared to 28 percent in Queens and 27 percent citywide.

The report also revealed that about one in seven Jamaica adults aged 16 and older, or 15 percent of the population, are unemployed. In the borough, 10 percent of residents are unemployed and 11 percent citywide.

About 17 percent of residents live below the federal poverty level, which for a family of four is $23,800, compared to about 21 percent of residents citywide and 16 percent in Queens, the Health Department said.

One bright spot for the area came when the report examined how often CB12 residents smoke. While the prevalence of tobacco retailers in the neighborhood is similar to the prevalence citywide (11 per 10,000 residents), fewer Jamaica residents — about 13 percent — smoke cigarettes than the 15 percent of New Yorkers in general.