Courtesy of Creative Commons

By Abigail Royle 12/13/2018

The latest Health of Boston report was released last Thursday providing information on the overall health of Boston residents. Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the report’s release calling it, “a roadmap to drive and prioritize our efforts by not only describing the health successes and challenges we face as a city, but also offering real world perspectives.” The report is a valuable resource when accessing Boston’s health. It show the progress the city has made in the past decade, while also revealing areas of public health that need more attention. It focuses on the social, economic, and environmental factors affect the public’s health.

The Health of Boston report accesses several sources in order to obtain the necessary data that contributes to the report. The data is collected and analyzed by the Boston Public Health Commission, who are responsible for releasing the report. A few of the sources used include the U.S census, birth and death registries, and hospital emergency department and inpatient discharge databases. The sources provide data on different categories of health such as environmental health, access to healthcare, health-related behaviors, infectious disease, etc.

Some of the positives the report have found include a decrease in areas such teenage birth rates, high school student smoking, and cancer mortality rate. From 2011-2015 females ages 15-17 who have given birth has decreased 57 percent. From 2007-2015 the percentage of high school students who have tried smoking has decreased from 7.5 percent to 4.8 percent. And from 2011-2015 the cancer mortality rate has decreased 12 percent.

However, there are still some health problems Boston faces. The percentage of adults with chronic disease is still high, the percentage of adults with persistent anxiety is increasing. 18 percent of adults reported persistent anxiety in 2006, but 22 percent of adults report persistent anxiety in 2015. The Health of Boston report also addresses the opioid epidemic, which continues to claim lives at a high rate, and the different health experiences between racial and ethnic groups, men and women, low income and high income, etc. The Health Report of Boston reveals these public health issues, showing health officials where their attentions need to be turned.