New online tool provides health snapshot of all 435 US congressional districts

RResearchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, unveiled the Congressional District Health Dashboard (CDHD), a new online tool that provides critical health data for all 435 congressional districts and the District of Columbia. The dashboard includes 36 key measures of health, such as deaths from heart disease and breast cancer, as well as conditions affecting health, such as housing affordability and access to nutritious foods. Until now, most of this data was not available at the congressional district level, nor were they compiled in one place or readily available to the public.

Data from the Congressional District Health Dashboard reveals geographic and racial and ethnic differences in health and well-being across congressional districts in the United States. For example, people living in congressional districts in 11 states that have not expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act are twice as likely to die as in states with expanded Medicaid coverage. In fact, residents of congressional districts in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas are almost 3.5 times more likely to be uninsured, on average, than those in congressional districts in New England. On average, Hispanic residents have the highest uninsured rates in most congressional districts across the country.

Mark N., MPH, MD, chairman of the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health. “The Congressional District Health Dashboard will help address a critical need for timely, rigorous and actionable data that can inform evidence-based policymaking,” says Gourevitch. and lead architect of the initiative. “Now, policy makers, advocates, and others can drill down into their specific congressional districts to identify the opportunities and challenges that affect the health and well-being of all those in need, regardless of income, race, or zip code. “

The Congressional District Health Dashboard provides users with the ability to:

  • Explore rigorous, nonpartisan data on health, education, poverty, and more by congressional district, and compare these findings to state and national averages
  • Compare rates of select metrics among different racial and ethnic groups within districts
  • View a snapshot of any congressional district with district-specific population facts such as age and racial and ethnic makeup, with all 36 measurements compared to the national average

The dashboard’s analysis of congressional district data also revealed the following findings:

  • Among congressional districts, there is large variation in many health outcomes, including those reporting mental distress, ranging from 9 to 21 percent by district.
  • Rent burdens are lowest in rural districts, at 37 percent, and generally highest in coastal areas (California, the Northeast, and Florida) and urban congressional districts, at 50 percent.
  • Across the United States, deaths from heart disease are lower in suburban districts at 194 deaths per 100,000, compared with 215 and 225 deaths per 100,000 in urban and rural districts, respectively.
  • Child poverty is about 14 percent lower in suburban districts, and 19 percent higher in urban and rural districts.
  • Broadband penetration is significantly lower in rural southern districts, where only 40 to 50 percent of households have high-speed internet, compared to 80 to 90 percent in urban districts with strong broadband access.
  • Racial and ethnic disparities in low birth weight are seen across districts, with particularly disparities in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Black newborns have a lower birth weight than white babies (those falling among other racial and ethnic groups) in more than three-quarters of districts in these states, including all districts in South Carolina and five out of six in Louisiana. is likely to happen. districts.

“This dashboard could be a game changer for health policy in the United States. By using local data, members of Congress and their staffs can make more informed decisions about policies that affect people’s health care, communities and workplaces.” are,” says Giridhar Mallya, MD, MSHP, senior policy officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Our health should not be determined by our congressional district, but these data clearly show how far we have to go to address persistent disparities across the country, regardless of who they are or No matter where they live, everyone in the United States deserves the opportunity to thrive.”

Overseen and regularly updated by a team of population health and policy experts, epidemiologists, and geospatial experts, the Congressional District Health Dashboard website displays measures and drivers of health through interactive maps, tables, and charts . Data are drawn from federal sources and other datasets that adhere to rigorous standards of data collection and analysis, including those from the US Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The first tool of its kind, the Congressional District Health Dashboard equips congressional staffers, federal and state advocates, journalists, researchers and others with the health and conditions that affect health in every congressional district across the country, Fuels components. and efforts by policy makers to take action and bring about change. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the dashboard builds on the foundation of the City Health Dashboard and responds to requests for additional unbiased health and wellness data at the congressional district level.

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