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Old 06-24-2019, 01:27 PM
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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...oor-inequality

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'It's totally unfair': Chicago, where the rich live 30 years longer than the poor

Spoiler:
In rich white Streeterville, Chicagoans can expect to live to 90. In poor black Englewood, it’s just 60 – the most divergent of any US city

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Sun 23 Jun 2019 02.00 EDT Last modified on Sun 23 Jun 2019 13.52 EDT
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The Englewood neighborhood in Chicago. The gulf between the two communities which share a city, a mayor, a police force and a school system is just as apparent by the numbers.
The Englewood neighborhood in Chicago. The gulf between the two communities which share a city, a mayor, a police force and a school system is just as apparent by the numbers. Photograph: Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images
Walking down 69th Street in Englewood, Chicago, near where she grew up, Michelle Rashad gestures to a rundown retail shop, across from a long open lot.

“At this store, there’s a Muslim brother who sells some fruits and vegetables some days,” says the 27-year-old. “But that might be the only piece of fruit you can get for another mile. Most [of] it has been like this since I was a kid. At least since I can remember.”


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The stores here – the few that haven’t been boarded up or burned to the ground – sell mostly packaged goods from behind thick plates of ballistic-proof glass. Even at the Subway sandwich shop a few blocks down, the healthy option in the area, customers have to shout their selections to overcome a muffling bulletproof encasement around the food and register.

On a bustling Tuesday afternoon in Streeterville, meanwhile, it’s hard to believe those Englewood streets are just eight miles away. On an open space between the Ritz-Carlton and the Lurie children’s hospital, vendors hawk farm fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and squash in sheer abundance. There are handmade crêpes and fresh pastries. There is small-batch artisanal tofu.

The gulf between the two communities which share a city, a mayor, a police force and a school system is just as apparent by the numbers. A recent analysis from the City Health Dashboard, published by the department of population health at New York University, found that the two neighborhoods have the most divergent life expectancy of any in the US that share the bounds of a city.

In predominantly white Streeterville, Chicagoans can expect to live to 90. In Englewood, where the population is virtually all black, life expectancy is just 60.

“There’s a concept that is increasingly being understood, that your zip code has as much to do with your health as your genetic code,” said Dr Marc Gourevitch, chair of the NYU department and the principal architect of the health dashboard.

“Another way to look at that is that your zip code shouldn’t determine whether you get to see your grandkids. And at some level, that’s how I see and feel about these kinds of data. It’s shocking.”

Back on 69th Street, Rashad reflected on this 30-year disparity.

“That’s the difference of an entire generation,” she says, incredulity in her voice. “But I won’t accept that. Englewood won’t accept that.”

Englewood has long held a reputation as one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Englewood has long held a reputation as one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods. Photograph: Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images
‘Traumatic situations’
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Streeterville is almost a caricature of physical and economic health. The lakefront neighborhood, a mere 14 blocks north to south, is home to a Northwestern University campus and three hospitals. On a late spring day, teens toss footballs and volleyballs as joggers zig-zag with leashed dogs in tow. On a full-length track in front of a pair of highrise condominiums, Kate Gardner jogs. She can’t muster one complaint about life in Streeterville, save for a few weeks of unseasonably cool weather.

“I know we’re lucky to be here, and that other people in the city don’t have it so good. It’s totally unfair,” she says.

The different health outcomes are multifaceted and correlate to almost every socioeconomic factor. The median income in Streeterville is nearly $100,000 a year, according to the US census. In Englewood, smack dab in the center of Chicago’s Southside, it’s a quarter of that. More than 80% of Streeterville residents have a college degree, compared with 8.2% in Englewood.

Then there’s the violence and the trauma it brings. Walking down 69th, Rashad stops to point.

“That’s where, freshman year, my 14-year-old friend was killed,” she says. “A stray bullet went straight through the window while she was getting ready for school. And I have to walk past that block.

“We’re constantly having to walk past these traumatic situations. You can literally look at the sidewalk where you’ve once seen blood or people bleed out, and you have to go to school, you have to go to work.”

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Englewood has long held a reputation as one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods. According to the Chicago Tribune, between 2000 and 2017 there were more than 4,800 shootings here.

Erin Vogel, co-executive director of I Grow Chicago, an Englewood-based community nonprofit, says 100% of the children the group works with have lost someone they know to gun violence and have heard gunshots while in their home.

“93% of them have literally seen a shooting with their own eyes,” she says. “There’s a young man who I work with who just turned 15, and in his 13th year of life, five of his friends were murdered. He saw two of them.”

The violence, of course, drives down life expectancy and health outcomes. But health inequities also drive violence. Take lead poisoning. For decades, Englewood had one of the highest rates of residential lead contamination in the country. Research has shown that lead poisoning in children is associated with dramatic spikes in impulsiveness and aggression.

“Irreversible brain damage just because of where you live, and you’re too poor to go anywhere else? It’s not fair. You’re cheating kids,” said Rashad, now executive director of Imagine Englewood If, a community group founded largely to draw attention to the lead crisis.

It wasn’t always this way.

“It was a Mecca!” exclaims lifelong resident Djanie Edwards, rattling through a list of vanished community anchors like the Sears store and the old Empress theatre. Everyone who remembers the community before the decay of the 1980s and 1990s points to the abandonment as perhaps the biggest change.

“There wasn’t all these open lots everywhere, these were houses,” Edwards says, at the headquarters of Resident Association of Greater Englewood (Rage), the only occupied building on its block. In seven lots, only two structures are standing.

Edwards remembers a time before local jobs began to move overseas, like at the Nabisco bakery where Rashad’s father worked most of his life. Unemployment opened the door to drugs, drugs fostered an environment of violence, the community fell into poor health and dysfunction.

“When cocaine hit there was such a rapid decline, and it affected individuals across the spectrum,” said Rodney Johnson, whose family arrived in the community in 1966. He was one of many who left in the 1980s but he has now returned, in part to deploy his skills as a public health researcher.

Johnson is one member of a team of “community health navigators” who this week began conducting a door-to-door survey. One of the most pressing questions they’re trying to answer is why there seems to be a disconnect between services that are actually available in the community and residents who do not use them.

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“The ironic thing is there are a lot of health resources available here,” said Cecile De Mello of Englewood Rising, one of the community groups involved in the research. “We want to know what are the barriers to people taking advantage of care opportunities in the community. Is it issues around safety? Is it issues around transportation? Is it that people feel helpless, and that they need motivation to help them get into care?”

Teens play basketball in Ogden Park in the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Teens play basketball in Ogden Park in the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. Photograph: Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images
‘The Promise Land’
It’s not all doom and gloom. There are patches of hope, like the abandoned lot Tina Hammond bought across from her home for $1, thanks to a city program. She and her husband made it into a green space with colorful planters, murals and space for community events like free yoga. They named it The Promise Land.

“It shouldn’t be that we have to have money or a certain income to get this kind of stuff,” Hammond said. “That’s why I envision just a beautiful space, something to get your mind off all the wretchedness that’s going on in life and all on these blocks. A place to just go and sit, relax and bring calm.”

There’s economic development too, bringing more healthy options to a community long described as a “food desert”. De Mello found her way to community work after being heavily involved in the siting of a Whole Foods market in Englewood, focusing on making sure products were affordable and accessible.

Violence is trending down too – though the reasons are still hotly contested.

More than anything, community groups like I Grow Chicago are giving residents hope. Their “peace house”, across the street from a community garden, is a frenetic jumble of answers to unmet needs. Visitors might be there for anything from toilet paper and toothpaste to a Reiki healing session.

Ora Bradley, who has lived in Englewood most of her life, spoke to the Guardian at the peace house as Reiki masters “smudged” the room with palo santo.

“There was a time I wanted out of this neighborhood so badly,” said Bradley, who watched her son Julius get caught in the drug game, spending time in jail.

She says the I Grow Chicago campus, which has essentially taken over her block, is nothing short of a godsend. The organization trains community members in construction and is refurbishing homes as community space or affordable housing.

Bradley says she still wants to leave, but for a very different reason. She wants to donate her home to I Grow, to make it part of its growing “peace campus”.

“There’s a desire that’s been placed in my heart to do this for our children,” she says, “and I can’t let it go”.


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  #382  
Old 06-26-2019, 03:45 PM
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https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2019/06...&utm_term=tadv

Quote:
How Likely the Government Thinks You Are to Die This Year

Spoiler:
The life insurers that issue annuities are keenly interested in whether annuity holders will die this year.
They hope, as kind human beings, that the annuity holders will live long and healthy lives, but shorter lives would cut contract benefits payouts.
Issuers come up with death rate forecasts for a particular year by using their own customers’ data; industrywide data collected by consultants, reinsurers and industry groups; and information collected by government agencies.
The National Center for Health Statistics, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is one of the top mortality information providers in the world.
The CDC has released several mortality-related tables this week. One, United States Life Tables, 2017, shows how likely people at specific ages from 0 to 100 were to die in 2017.
Newborns had a 0.577% chance of dying between the day they were born and the day they turned 1.
The CDC assumes, for simplicity’s sake, that people who are 100 have, roughly, a 100% chance of dying — even though 99-year-olds, for example, had only a 31.6% chance of dying in 2017.
For a look at the CDC probability estimates for the risk of dying at selected ages from 25 through 75, in percent, based on 2017 vital statistics data, see the data cards in the slideshow above.
Resources
A copy of the life new tables is available here.
Correction: The CDC’s estimate of the probability of death for people age 60 was given incorrectly in an earlier version of this article. The estimate, based on the 2017 data, is 0.909%.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/n...r68_07-508.pdf
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  #383  
Old 06-30-2019, 09:18 PM
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OVERDOSES

https://www.wsj.com/articles/overdos...90-11561541406
Quote:
Overdose Deaths Likely to Fall for First Time Since 1990
Health officials and scientists warn U.S. is far from defeating drug epidemic

Spoiler:
For the first time in decades, drug-overdose deaths in the U.S. are on the precipice of declining.

Authorities are still counting fatalities around the U.S. from 2018, but provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are pointing lower. Those data predict there were nearly 69,100 drug deaths in the 12-month period ended last November, down from almost 72,300 predicted deaths for 12 months ended November 2017.

If the trend holds through December, annual drug deaths will fall for the first time since 1990, when overdoses killed about 8,400 people.

"I think we're probably looking at a decline," said Robert Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

There is little cause for celebration, health officials and epidemiologists say. The death rate remains swollen by powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and Mr. Anderson warned a new deadly analog could arrive anytime. The rise of methamphetamines and related deaths remains a worrisome trend.

Health authorities are eager for any hint of progress. Overdoses have killed roughly 870,000 people during this nearly three-decade rise, with particularly heavy tolls in the last several years, CDC data show. "I'm ready to say that the opioid crisis is in early remission, yet at high risk of relapse," said Jim Hall, an epidemiologist at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

One driving factor has been broadened access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, often known by the brand name Narcan, according to authorities in places like Rhode Island, Ohio and Pennsylvania. This can entail putting more doses directly in the hands of at-risk drug users. When asked why fatalities in the Pittsburgh area fell 41% to 432 last year -- the lowest level since 2015 -- Allegheny County Chief Medical Examiner Karl Williams said: "In a word, Narcan."

Pennsylvania's drug deaths are still being counted, but there was likely a statewide decline last year, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration office in Philadelphia said. The DEA tabulates overdoses for the state.

Authorities there and beyond also credit efforts to get overdose victims from emergency rooms on a path to treatment. This can entail connecting them with peer-recovery coaches, handing them free naloxone kits and following up after they head home.

Another possible factor is that some of the most vulnerable people have already died, said Magdalena Cerda, director of the new Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy at New York University Langone Health, adding that more studies are needed in this area. Also, hard-hit states may be regressing toward more average levels after years of death rates inflated by opioids, she said.

"It's likely a combination of all those things together," she said, noting that the rates of overdose are still many times higher now than they were in the peak of the crack-cocaine crisis decades ago.


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Old 07-01-2019, 02:48 PM
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HEART DISEASE

https://quillette.com/2019/06/12/the...heart-disease/



There are a variety of graphs/tables in there, but I will copy over only two:





The author used less-than-ideal screenshots.
From the quoted article:

Quote:
In what can only be described as a landslide victory for the matriarchy, men turning 35 are half as likely to make it to 45 as their female counterparts.
No way. The article was pretty well-written up to that statement.
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:58 PM
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From the quoted article:



No way. The article was pretty well-written up to that statement.


I assume they mean 'twice as likely to die before turning 45'??? Even that sounds high, but at least within the realm of possibility, especially considering the opiod epidemic is hitting males more than females IIRC.

Belongs in the innumeracy thread.
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Old 07-16-2019, 05:28 AM
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MILITARY SUICIDES

https://www.wsj.com/articles/militar...ce-11563096602
Quote:
Military Unit, Ravaged by War, Regroups Back Home to Survive the Peace
Suicides drive Bravo Company veterans to test whether reuniting will help overcome lingering effects of battle

Spoiler:
Nearly a year ago, the combat-hardened paratroopers of Bravo Company realized things were getting too dangerous. They weren't working as a team. Too many men were dying. Nobody seemed to know how to stop the bloodletting.

And that was a decade after they got home from war.

During an 11-month tour of Afghanistan's notorious Arghandab Valley,three soldiers from Bravo Company, Second Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment were killed in action and a dozen more lost at least one leg or arm. In the 10 years since they returned to the U.S., two B Company soldiers -- isolated from their buddies, struggling with their demons -- have killed themselves, more than a dozen have tried and others admit they have considered it.

"Derek, Grant, Timmy -- all those guys died at their own hands," said Sgt. FirstClass Robert Musil, listing close friends from Bravo Company and other units he served in who had killed themselves. "All those men were warriors. If they can do it, what's stopping me?"

Bravo Company's traumatic tour and high suicide rate have drawn the attention of the Department of Veterans Affairs and an advocacy group called the Independence Fund. The agencies declared men from the unit -- including Sgt. Musil -- to be at what the fund calls "extraordinary risk" of succumbing to addiction, isolation and suicide. They decided to use Bravo Company as a testing ground for a new approach to suicide prevention among veterans.

VA mental-health services have often focused on the individual veteran and clinical care, such as therapy sessions with professionals and mood-stabilizing drugs. Innovations in alternative therapy have included yoga sessions, acupuncture and service animals. But even in group sessions, veterans don't usually connect with those they served beside in combat.

On a weekend this past spring, the VA and the Independence Fund brought 98 remaining Bravo Company veterans together to test a theory: Just as they relied on each other to survive in combat, they could again rely on each other to survive the lingering effects of war.

They laughed. They cried. They talked about their fears. They whitewater-rafted. They took a few shots of Jameson Irish whiskey. They met with VA counselors. And they tried to rebuild the fraternity that had frayed since they returned home.

"You are your brother's keeper," said Sgt. Musil, a core member of the company.

When Sgt. Musil came back from Afghanistan, he unplugged from the others who had seen what he had seen in combat. He didn't talk much to anyone about that year in southern Afghanistan. He deleted his social-media accounts. But the memories festered. His marriage fell apart.

Sgt. Musil stayed in the Army, deploying again and again, spending as much time as possible working, he said, to prove to himself he hadn't been affected.

Then the suicides began, including the sergeant's best friend, Alan, who during what seemed to be a flashback shot two neighbors before apparently realizing what he had done and turning the gun on himself.

Over the past decade, the men rarely got together, and when they did, it was likely for a funeral. In September, there was another one when a Bravo Company veteran, Derek Hill, shot himself after returning from a job as a contractor in Iraq.

That suicide prompted company leaders, the Independence Fund and the VA to take action.

"We have the mantra that we're the strongest on the planet, that we're indestructible," Sgt. Musil said of the paratroopers. But, he admitted, "we're scared."

The meetings, group activities and VA-led counseling sessions can provide the most effective suicide prevention possible, health experts say.

The VA budgeted nearly $18 million for suicide prevention last year, mostly for counselors and hotlines.

But the most recent VA statistics show suicide rates are rising for the youngest veterans, and that among all adults, former troops are 50% more at risk than civilians.


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Old 07-24-2019, 08:46 AM
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https://www.wsj.com/articles/death-r...ts-11563854580

Quote:
Death Rates Rising for Young, Middle-Aged U.S. Adults
Opioid epidemic and stalled progress against heart disease have dragged down life expectancy

Spoiler:
Death rates are rising for young and middle-aged U.S. adults, and the outcomes for whites, blacks and Hispanics are diverging, according to a new government analysis.

The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to be published Tuesday, adds new detail to a grim picture of worsening health trends across the nation, as the opioid epidemic and stalled progress against heart disease have dragged down life expectancy.

U.S. Hispanics have long experienced lower death rates than blacks or whites. But the drug-overdose epidemic is affecting the longevity of younger Hispanics, according to the report and experts on health in the U.S. Hispanic population.

"People are just now starting to recognize that the opioid epidemic is not just a white phenomenon," said Andrew Fenelon, an assistant professor of health policy and management at the University of Maryland who has studied health behaviors and advantages in life expectancy among U.S. Hispanics.

Across all ages, death rates have declined, albeit more slowly in recent years. The decline in the U.S. death rate slowed in recent years for all ethnicities, including Hispanics, according to the report. While the death rate for Hispanics fell 2% each year between 2000 and 2011, that slowed to less than 1% annually from 2011 to 2017, according to the CDC report.

The death-rate decline also slowed for black Americans during those years. It barely budged, meanwhile, for white Americans.

But among younger adults age 25-44, death rates rose 21% for white and black adults and 13% for Hispanic adults between 2012 and 2017, according to the report.

Most young victims in that age group died of injuries, including drug overdoses and suicides, said Sally Curtain, a health statistician at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, and an author of the new report.

Homicides have also risen, as well as deaths related to heavy use of alcohol, she said.

"It's not all driven by drug overdose, but it's pretty much all injury deaths," she said.

Death rates also rose 6.9% for white and 4.2% for black middle-aged adults ages 45-64 from 2012-2017. They were essentially flat for Hispanics after dropping steadily in previous years.

The data paint a differing picture for younger U.S. Hispanics, whose death rates are rising, and older generations, who have remained healthier. Most Hispanics over age 50 are foreign-born, and many came to the U.S. as workers, while more of the younger generations are U.S. born, said Mark Hugo Lopez, director of global migration and demography research at the Pew Research Center.

Immigration to the U.S. has slowed since 2007, Mr. Lopez said.

The CDC analysis includes Hispanics who are U.S. residents, both those born abroad and in the U.S. Most Hispanics living in the U.S. are of Mexican descent, and the CDC said its report mostly reflects trends that apply to that Hispanic subgroup.


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