How Long Will You Live?
Cincinnati Neighborhood Specific Data Holds Clue
The Cincinnati Health Department (CHD) has produced information on life expectancy for each of 47 neighborhood groupings. This data has never been available before and is an important step in improving the quality and extending the life of Cincinnatians.
Findings show that residents of the Mt. Lookout / Columbia Tusculum neighborhood grouping live to about 88 years, roughly 20 years longer than residents of South Fairmount. Further, African American men citywide have a life expectancy nearly ten years less than their white male counterparts. The difference between African American women and white women is less, but still concerning, at about seven years. These findings point to significant health inequities that must be addressed as a community.
Will where you live determine how long you will live?
The average Cincinnati resident lives about seventy-six years, two years less than the average American, suggesting that we are not as healthy as the nation as a whole. Why are residents expected to live two decades longer on one side of town than they would on the other? Why might someone live 10 years longer than their neighbors down the street? What causes these differences in life expectancy, and how can they be addressed so all Cincinnatians may live to 88 and beyond?
"Knowledge is power. We are going to use this information to improve the length and quality of life among Cincinnatians. The best way to improve the health of communities is through local discussion leading to action," Dr. Noble Maseru, Cincinnati Health Commissioner said.
The CHD will engage community agencies and partners to consider the implications of these findings and to develop long term plans to improve health outcomes in Cincinnati.
- "How long will you live?", a Community Roundtable event on Jan 10, 2014 at 8:30 am at the Community Action Agency, 1740 Langdon Farm Road. The roundtable, featuring keynote speakers from a variety of disciplines, will engage community members and organizations around several key questions surrounding the issue of life expectancy and disparity. More extensive data on income, education, and health status and access will be available to attendees to enlighten the discussion and advance their work.
- Working with community councils to establish or support existing wellness committees focusing on implications for neighborhoods and the region.
- Working with City staff on the ongoing implementation of the Cincinnati Comprehensive Plan to maximize the health impact of the built environment, placement of industry, and the walk- and bike-ability of communities, etc.
- Partnering with hospitals, academia and other civic organizations on ways to best turn this data and further research into positive health outcomes.
"This information presents an opportunity and is a call to action for Cincinnatians. Attend the roundtable, form a neighborhood health council, use this information and have discussions with civic and business interests to find ways to improve health outcomes," said Dr. Camille Jones, Assistant Health Commissioner.
Life expectancy is defined as the estimated average number of years a person may expect to live, if mortality rates stay the same over time, and is an indicator of the health of a population. Looking at life expectancy at the neighborhood level allows researchers and community members to focus on demographic, environmental, and social factors that may influence health inequalities. It should be noted that life expectancy may be influenced by a person's condition, race, sex, age, and other demographic factors.
The data was made publicly available at the Cincinnati Health Department, 3101 Burnet Ave., 45229.
Initial data is available on the Health Department’s website for all organizations and individuals interested in understanding or working with issues of health, illness and disparity in Cincinnati.
Dr. Noble Maseru and Dr. Camille Jones, other City of Cincinnati staff, community representatives and others were in attendance. The CHD is collaborating with local elected officials, City staff, local hospitals and universities and various civic groups.
The CHD will continue to analyze the existing dataset, and provide public releases of additional analyses as they are completed. Plans are in place to develop a query-able online database for use by researchers, residents and anyone else interested in improving health outcomes.
The methodology adhered to strict academic research guidelines and research practices. The initial database and each step of the analysis were cross-checked by multiple researchers to assure a strong final product.
For more information, contact the Cincinnati Health Department: