Comptroller: Heart disease rises in low-income areas

Heart disease continues to hospitalize an increasing number of Brooklyn residents, according to a report released by the city comptroller.Comptroller William Thompson Jr.'s staff studied

EAST FLATBUSH - Heart disease continues to hospitalize an increasing number of Brooklyn residents, according to a report released by the city comptroller.Comptroller William Thompson Jr.'s staff studied health conditions among low-income city residents using data from 1990 to 2005. In Brooklyn, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, East Flatbush and East New York were most affected.

A Brooklyn resident attributed the findings to poor eating options. "There's a lot of fast-food restaurants in low-income areas."

"Equally disturbing, we found the poorest neighborhoods had the fewest number of primary care physicians per capita," Thompson said.

The study recommends more clinics open in drug stores to make health care more accessible. Thompson also wants savings from hospital mergers and closures to go toward community-based health providers. Other recommendations include creating a statewide diabetes task force and expanding physical education in schools.

Thompson also found that cancer hospitalization rates dropped in all low-income neighborhoods, except East New York.

Related information:The New York City Office of the Comptroller

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