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Chicago's south side suffers most from unhealthy neighborhoods
Date:8/15/2011

CHICAGO --- The south and southwest sides of Chicago suffer the most in terms of residents' health and access to basic health resources, according to a new study of 77 Chicago neighborhoods.

The study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Public Health is the first comprehensive profile compiled in one document of the health of residents and resources in Chicago neighborhoods. The study was made possible with support from the Aetna Foundation and Aetna Inc.

The 150-page study of Chicago neighborhoods -- available at http://chicagohealth77.org -- tracks the prevalence of five key public health issues for the entire city. The health issues -- which serve as the cornerstone of the Chicago public health agenda being released tomorrow -- are childhood obesity, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy and motor vehicle injury and death.

These are public health issue priorities with large-scale impact and known, effective strategies to address them.

The study also tracked healthy resources and assets such as parks, easy access to high-quality medical care, safe places to exercise and stores that sell affordable healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Illustrating the imbalance of resources, the south and southwest regions of Chicago have the highest breast cancer mortality rates, but few breast health services, such as mammogram testing sites, exist for women in these areas. Rather, breast health resources are concentrated in the north and northwest regions, which also have the lowest breast cancer mortality rate.

The study examined the local resources available to address each health problem for four underserved, racially diverse neighborhoods: Albany Park (northwest), Chicago Lawn (southwest), South Lawndale and Auburn Gresham (both far south.)

Though the south and southwest regions of
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Contact: Marla Paul
Marla-Paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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