Monday, December 7, 2009

Living in Oakland Is Hazardous for Your Health

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 11:16 AM

People die at a much younger age in some Oakland neighborhoods than in any other spot in the East Bay, according to a new series by the Bay Area News Group. In fact, the five worst zip codes in terms of life expectancy are in Oakland, with two in East Oakland rated as the lowest among eighty throughout the East Bay. By contrast, three of the top five in terms of life expectancy are in the Berkeley hills.

Oakland also is ground zero for childhood asthma and heart disease rates. Downtown Oakland is the worst in terms of childhood asthma hospitalizations. In fact, kids in downtown are twelve times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than children in leafy Lafayette. Oakland also has the five worst zip codes in the East Bay for childhood asthma. The city also has the five worst for heart disease. In some neighborhoods, residents are 2.5 times to three times more likely to suffer from heart disease than in the Berkeley hills.

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