Number of HIV/AIDS-Related Deaths, Teen Pregnancies Down in New York City in 2003, Report Says
Although the number of diabetes-related deaths increased in 2003 in New York City, the number of HIV/AIDS-related deaths in the city decreased and fewer teenage girls gave birth last year, according to an annual vital statistics summary released Wednesday by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York Times reports. The 67-page report -- titled "Summary of Vital Statistics 2003: The City of New York" -- ranked diabetes as the fourth leading cause of death, after an 11% increase in the number of diabetes-related deaths recorded in 2002. Heart disease, cancer, and influenza and pneumonia in 2003 remained the top three causes of death, according to the survey (Hu, New York Times, 12/23). In addition, infant mortality rates rose by 8% from 2002 to 6.5 deaths out of every 1,000 live births in 2003, according to the survey. However, the city's infant mortality rate is lower than the national average of seven deaths out of every 1,000 live births, Long Island Newsday reports (Thrush, Long Island Newsday, 12/22). The survey also showed some "small victories," including a decrease in the number of HIV/AIDS-related deaths from 1,713 in 2002 to 1,656 in 2003, according to the Times. However, the disease continues to be the leading killer of city residents between the ages of 35 and 44, health officials said, according to the Times (New York Times, 12/23). In addition, AIDS-related causes are the third leading cause of death among city residents under age 65 (Long Island Newsday, 12/22). And continuing a citywide and nationwide trend, fewer teenage girls gave birth in 2003 than in 2002 (New York Times, 12/23). In 2003, 8,831 teens gave birth, compared with nearly 14,000 births 10 years ago, Long Island Newsday reports (Long Island Newsday, 12/22). The survey found that teen births have declined 36% over the last decade in New York City. However, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden said teen pregnancy "remained a problem," partly because teens were not using condoms "as often as they should," according to the Times (New York Times, 12/23).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.