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Watts Residents Will Die 11.9 Years Before Bel Air Residents

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On the last day of his term, Mayor Villaraigosa released the Health Atlas for the City of Los Angeles (pdf): "More than 100 health indicators -- such as obesity, coronary disease and asthma -- were studied within neighborhoods across Los Angeles and compiled into a health atlas ... The goal of compiling the atlas, he noted, was to ensure that city officials would consider how future development impacts neighborhoods where bike lanes, walking paths and parks could be integrated with new housing developments and transportation hubs," according to the Daily News. The results are both horrifying and predictable: rich, white people are doing a-ok and poor people and people of color are not. What else is new? We'll be looking at a few of the factors examined in the atlas, and today it's the pure health data--who's dying of what where (with a little economic context thrown in). Here are some of the big findings (these are all quotes from the atlas):

-- Residents in affluent neighborhoods like Bel Air-Beverly Crest and Brentwood Pacific Palisades make more than 12 times the per capita income of residents in the poorest neighborhoods such as Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles.
-- Over 90% of adults in several Westside neighborhoods have a high school diploma, compared to less than 50% in neighborhoods such as Boyle Heights, South Los Angeles, and Arleta-Pacoima.
-- Over 30% of children in South Los Angeles, Southeast Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, and in neighborhoods near the Port of Los Angeles are obese, compared to less than 12% of children in Bel Air-Beverly Crest and Brentwood-Pacific Palisades.
-- Average annual homicide rates in some higher income neighborhoods were nearly zero, compared to more than 20 homicides per 100,000 residents in Southeast Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, and West Adams-Baldwin Hills-Leimert.
-- Nearly one-fifth of census tracts had "very low" Hardship Index scores, with some of the lowest scores in the census tracts in the Santa Monica Mountains. One in eight census tracts in the City had "very high" levels of hardship. Most of these tracts were located in the Southeast Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, Westlake, and Arleta-Pacoima CPAs. By far, the census tract with the highest Hardship Index score was adjacent to Watts.
-- Statewide, California's life expectancy was 80.1 years from 2006-2008, compared to 78.6 years for the U.S. The life expectancy for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area (80.7 years) is similar to the statewide average.
-- [L]ife expectancy across the City of Los Angeles varies significantly, with a nearly 12-year difference between the areas with the highest and lowest life expectancy. Residents in the Watts [Public Use Microdata Area] have a life expectancy of 72.8 years compared to 84.7 years in the Bel Air-Brentwood-Pacific Palisades PUMA.
-- The PUMAs with the highest life expectancy were located on the Westside of Los Angeles, in the Santa Monica Mountains, and along the southern portion of the San Fernando Valley. In fact, the Bel Air-Brentwood-Pacific Palisades and West Los Angeles PUMAs ranked among the top 20 areas for life expectancy in California.
-- The areas with the lowest life expectancy included the PUMAs south of Downtown Los Angeles along the Interstate 110 corridor, the neighborhoods west of Downtown, and the West Adams-Baldwin Hills-Leimert neighborhood. Five of these areas were in the bottom 20 neighborhoods for the entire state.
-- The Watts PUMA has the lowest rate in California, representing the same life expectancy rate for the U.S. from almost 40 years ago.
-- The death rate among residents in Los Angeles County has declined over 30% during the 15-year period from 1995 through 2009. While mortality rates have declined in the County, the City still experiences a number of challenges with several leading causes of death.
-- [C]oronary heart disease (CHD) was the leading cause of death across all five Service Planning Areas (SPAs) representing the City, followed by stroke and lung cancer. Emphysema/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) also ranked in the top five for the County and in five all SPAs in the City.
-- Notably, Metro and South Bay SPAs were the only two with pneumonia/influenza in their top five ranks.
-- Alzheimer's disease became an increasingly important cause of death in the County and in SPAs 2 (San Fernando Valley) and 5 (West). Furthermore, diabetes has emerged as a leading cause of death in SPA 6 (South).
-- Coronary heart disease was not only the leading cause of death in the County, but was also the leading cause of premature death [death before age 75] for all of Los Angeles County.
-- Homicide was the second leading cause of premature death in the Metro, South, and South Bay SPAs.
-- [S]uicide was the second leading cause of premature death in the San Fernando and West SPAs and the fourth leading cause of death in the Metro SPA.
-- Breast cancer was a leading cause of premature death in the West SPA.
-- [D]iabetes caused a significant number of premature deaths in the South SPA.
-- In 2011, approximately 8% of adults in Los Angeles County reported having been diagnosed with depression and either being treated for depression or having symptoms of depression. Adults from the ages of 50 to 59 and 60 to 64 were the most likely age groups to have reported depression, while Whites and African Americans were the most likely race and ethnicity groups to report depression.
-- In Los Angeles County, the prevalence of adult obesity increased from 14% in 1997 to 24% in 2011, while the percentage of overweight adults increased from 34% in 1997 to 37% in 2011. As shown on Figure 24 the West HD had the lowest prevalence of adult obesity and the second lowest proportion of overweight adults. The Harbor HD had the second lowest percentage of obese adults (17%), but the second highest prevalence of overweight adults (44%). The South, Southeast, Southwest, and San Fernando HDs had higher proportions of obese adults than the County average, with the South and Southeast HDs exceeding 30%.
-- In Los Angeles County, obesity rates among school-aged children increased from 19% in 1999 to 22% in 2010 ... In five of the 35 CPAs, the prevalence of childhood obesity exceeds 30%, including the Harbor Gateway (35%), Boyle Heights (32%), Southeast Los Angeles (30%), and South Los Angeles (30%) CPAs.
-- The Brentwood-Pacific Palisades (11%) and Bel Air-Beverly Crest (12%) CPAs have the lowest proportions of childhood obesity, and both are less than half the citywide average of 25%.
· Health Atlas For the City of Los Angeles (pdf) [LA City Planning]