April 22, 2003
New Yorkers are living longer than they did a decade ago and are living longer than Americans as a whole, the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported Monday. Thanks mostly to the drop in AIDS deaths and homicides, city residents' life spans are significantly longer than a decade ago, by 3.2 years for women and 6.8 years for men. Partly for those same reasons, black New Yorkers gained some ground but continue to live about five years less than whites and seven years less than Hispanics. Life expectancy in the city stands at 77.6 years, or 80.2 years for women, and 74.5 years for men. This average is about seven months longer than the national average life expectancy.
Although AIDS-related deaths have dropped, HIV/AIDS remains the third leading cause of death for people in New York City, behind heart disease and cancer. In 2001, AIDS caused 2 percent of all deaths, or 1,166 lives ended, mostly in the Hispanic and black communities. This trend emerged despite drug cocktails that prolong life for HIV/AIDS patients. AIDS and HIV-related illnesses continue to remain the leading cause of death among New Yorkers ages 35-44.
The figures come from the department's annual summary of vital statistics, which includes data on the lives and deaths of New York City residents. The 66-page report is accessible on the department's Web site at: www.nyc.gov/html/doh/pdf/vs/2001sum.pdf.