Report: Central Harlem Has Highest Death Rate in NYC

Disease and drugs are behind the disparity.

Posted: 02/25/2011 04:39 PM EST

Neighborhoods in Harlem have the highest death rates in the entire city, according to a new report from the New York City Health Department.

In 2009, central Harlem had 8.8 deaths for every 1,000 people, in comparison to 6.1 deaths per 1,000 people in all of New York City.

A closer look reveals that disease and drug abuse could be behind the numbers.

The central Harlem neighborhood ranked first in New York for deaths due to cerebrovascular disease (34 deaths per 100,000 people) and came in second for cancer deaths (231 per 100,000 people).

East Harlem ranked first in liver disease and cirrhosis deaths (15.9 deaths per 100,000). East Harlem also ranked first in the city for drug-related deaths (22.9 per 100,000).

"We need to bring those rates down. Relative to other neighborhoods, these rates are too high," said Roger Hayes, the city's assistant commissioner of health for Harlem.


Image:  Chris Hondros / Getty Images