New York City's overall death rate reached a record low in 2006 in part because of a decrease in AIDS-related deaths, the health commissioner announced on Tuesday, the AP/New York Times
reports. According to the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the total number of deaths decreased from 57,068 in 2005 to 55,391 in 2006. In addition, deaths from AIDS-related complications fell from 1,419 to 1,209 between 2005 and 2006 -- a decrease of almost 15%. The number of AIDS-related deaths in 2006 is the lowest number since 1984, when 952 deaths from the disease were recorded.
Researchers said that the decrease in AIDS-related deaths is because of efforts aimed at reducing the spread of HIV, including needle-exchange programs and expanded HIV testing, as well as slower disease progression.
AIDS-related deaths in New York City remain concentrated among minority populations, the AP/Times
reports. According to 2006 statistics, about:
ē 34% of deaths occurred among black men;
ē 21% of deaths occurred among black women;
ē 11% of deaths occurred among white men; and
ē 3% of deaths occurred among white women.
Although recorded new HIV cases among men who have sex with men have been increasing in New York City, the trend has not affected death rates.
Another primary reason for New York City's decreased death rate is the lower number of deaths from smoking-related illnesses, the AP/Times
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation