2018 Los Angeles County City and Community Health Profiles released

The LA County Department of Public Health recently released its 2018 City and Community Health Profiles. The individual reports for each of 60 cities, the 15 council districts in the City of Los Angeles, and 9 unincorporated communities incorporate data on 58 indicators of health, demographics, and social, economic, and environmental conditions.

The reports show large disparities between LA County communities explains Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, Med, Director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“The reports highlight the power of place as a determinant of health and the many opportunities to improve the health of our residents, particularly in communities that have been disadvantaged by longstanding patterns of neglect, disinvestment, and discriminatory policies and practices.”

Some notable disparities include:

  • 12 cities/communities had less than half an acre per 1,000 residents of available recreational space, while 10 cities/communities had more than ten times that amount (more than 5 acres per 1,000 residents).
  • The percentage of the population living in close proximity to a supermarket or grocery story was greater than 80% in 12 cities/communities, but was less than 40% in 11 cities/communities.
  • The percentage of children ages 3 and 4 years who were enrolled in preschool was greater than 80% in 5 cities/communities, but was lower than 40% in 9 cities/communities.
  • The percentage of households experiencing severe housing burden, defined as spending more than half of their income on housing, was lower than 20% in 24 cities/communities, but was greater than 35% in 4 cities/communities.

In her introductory message to the reports Dr. Ferrer continued to emphasizes governments’ importance in addressing the social determinants of health.

“City and county governments play a vital role in reducing these health inequities and ensuring the equitable distribution of opportunities and resources needed for optimal health and well-being. For example, investments can be made in all communities to build public spaces that promote physical activity and create incentives for healthy food retail. Regulations can be adopted that discourage tobacco use and excessive alcohol use and restrict the number of outlets that sell tobacco and alcohol products. Government agencies can work together to create safe spaces that reduce violence and unintended injuries. In collaboration with residents, they can support efforts that provide environmental protections from local sources of pollution. Policies can be enacted that expand access to safe and affordable housing, increase employment and training opportunities, and reduce exposures to environmental hazards.”

Reports for each city and community are downloadable here or through the link shared above. In addition, data sets for each of the 58 indicators that have been featured in the health profile reports plus 11 additional indicators are available for download and comparison here. City and community specific data sets will be available for download here later in July 2018.