Have New York City's Public Health Initiatives Reduced Mortality? Comparing Period-Based Variation in NYC and U.S. Mortality Rates, 1990-2009

Ryan K. Masters, University of Colorado at Boulder
Stephane Helleringer, Columbia University
Peter Muennig, Columbia University

Life expectancy in the United States is declining in some regions and among some groups. Contrary to trends in the rest of the country, NYC has realized large gains in life expectancy over the past two decades. The city attributes these trends to its recently enacted public health measures. Doubts remain as to whether the increases in NYC longevity reflect the city's public health investments during this time period. We fit age-period-cohort models on official death records to investigate period-based changes in age-specific mortality rates from multiple causes of death in New York City and the US population between 1990 and 2010. We examine whether period-based changes in mortality risk – beyond age- and cohort-based variation – were greater in NYC than in the rest of the United States. Results suggest period-based reductions in NYC mortality were larger than those in the entire US population.

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Presented in Session 129: Mortality Trends and Differentials II