ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Capital Region residents according to the 2019 Capital Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) report from the Healthy Capital District Initiative. The report covers Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties.
The report, released in summer 2019, concluded that out of 2,285 deaths in 2015, 25.7 percent were because of heart disease. The second leading cause of death was cancer, which accounted for 22.8 percent of all deaths.
The third leading cause of death, with a significantly lower percentage than either heart disease or cancer, was chronic lower respiratory disease which accounted for 5.4 percent of all deaths.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease and cancer were also the leading causes of death among Americans in 2017. Accidents were the third leading cause of American deaths while chronic lower respiratory diseases the fourth leading cause.
Out of the six counties surveyed, the most premature deaths (deaths occurring before the age of 65) occurred in Greene County. The county experienced a 24.8 percent rate for premature deaths based on 2016 data. Columbia County had the lowest percentage of premature deaths, 20.8 percent. The overall percentage in the entire Capital Region for premature deaths was 22.8.
Adults age 18-64 in Columbia and Rensselaer counties were the least likely to have had a routine physical in the past year the CHNA said. These two counties also had the highest percentage of residents who said going to the doctor was too expensive.
Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer adults were also the least likely to visit a dentist in the past year. In the Capital Region, 71.3 percent of adults visited the dentist in the past year. In Columbia County, 66.5 percent, Green County 69.4 percent and in Rensselaer County 63.3 of adults visited the dentist within the last year.
Albany and Saratoga counties had the highest number of adults with asthma in the Capital Region while Albany along with Schenectady had the largest number of adults with diabetes in the Capital Region.
With the exception of Albany County, the number of adults who use tobacco decreased across all the other counties in the survey. The highest smoking rates were reported in Columbia and Schenectady counties.
Residents in Rensselaer and Schenectady counties reported the highest levels of adult obesity. The highest levels of childhood obesity were reported in Columbia, Greene and Schenectady counties. The 353-page report also covers mental health, crime, chronic diseases, housing and other related health topics.