November 30, 2016
Living in well-to-do Washington Park or in the Valverde neighborhood on Denver’s west side can mean a difference in average life expectancy of 11 years.
Depression and childhood obesity rates are four times higher in some Denver neighborhoods, and tobacco use is six times higher in certain areas of the city.
The health disparities are severe, and thanks to data emerging from death certificates and the electronic health records of tens of thousands of Denver residents, public health officials can map the variance down to specific pockets of town. Armed with blunt facts, the public health community has renewed its effort to intervene and help improve outcomes in the unhealthiest neighborhoods.
Denver Health is creating a new Center for Health Equity focused on closing the health gaps through research, education and recruitment of medical professionals from disadvantaged neighborhoods.