Report finds Central BX communities have highest death rate in the city

Central Bronx communities topped the Health Department's list of areas with the highest death rate.

Heart disease, cancer and AIDS were the top three killers in the Central Bronx according to the Health Department. A recent report by the department shows that the Central Bronx has the highest death rate in all of New York City.

Dr. Jeannine Bookhardt-Murray, of the Morris Heights Health Center, says the biggest things that have to be done are to get information out to patients and people in the community, and educate them about lifestyle changes that need to happen. In addition to making changes such as exercising more and eating healthy, city officials say access to care is an important step in preventing and treating illness. But the report found that the Central Bronx ranks low in terms of access to care. Dr. Bookhardt-Murray says there are still disparities in care but it's much better than it was 15-20 years ago. She adds that part of why care has improved is because of funding receive by area health centers.

The one problem facing health care professionals is getting the word out about what's available to residents. They say in the Central Bronx there is a large population of immigrants and young people, two groups that are difficult to reach.

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