Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness releases Health Equity Report 2017

November 29, 2017

Hospital admissions from asthma and tobacco use among middle schoolers both have declined in Louisville over the past six years, according to the latest health equity report released today by the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness’ Center for Health Equity.

But the report also found that the top three causes of death in Louisville for the past five years still are smoking-related, and African Americans still have more asthma hospital admissions than whites or Hispanics.

Mayor Greg Fischer today praised the Center for Health Equity for its work on the Louisville Metro Health Equity Report 2017, which builds on reports released in 2011 and in 2014 by including root causes for inequitable health outcomes in our community. 

“We want to make Louisville a healthier city overall, and in order to do that, we have to make it a more equitable city,” the Mayor said. “These reports have shown us that factors such as your income, your ZIP Code, your race and your education level profoundly influence how healthy you will be. We need to fully understand these factors to create data-driven approaches for addressing the obstacles that stand in the way of improving health for all.”

The report, which is designed as a tool for policy makers and residents to better understand how they can create more equitable policies and practices, examines the history of Louisville and how our past has influenced our present. 

It shows the demographics and diversity of the city’s residents, noting, for example that Louisville’s population is growing and becoming more diverse. It reviews 21 health outcomes such as infant mortality, homicide and heart disease, and examines 11 root causes for those outcomes, ranging from food systems to neighborhood development. These health outcomes are arranged in the order of the life course, from infancy through old age.

“Health equity is everybody’s work. We want policy makers, businesses leaders, government officials, physicians, schools, civic and nonprofit organizations and residents to use the report to create equitable policies and practices so that everyone can thrive and our entire city can become healthier,” said Brandy Kelly Pryor, PhD., director of the Louisville Metro Center for Health Equity.  

The report lists evidence-based best practices to improve health that are already under way in Louisville, as well as best practices used in other communities.

A few of the findings in Louisville Metro Health Equity Report 2017 include:

  • All of the top three causes of death in Louisville from 2011-2015 – heart disease, cancer and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – are smoking related.
  • White males had the highest rate of death from suicide, at 29.14 per 100,000, while black males had the highest rate of death from homicide, at 49.12 per 100,000.
  • Louisville’s population is growing and becoming more diverse. The Hispanic/Latino population has tripled since 2000, and the Asian population has more than doubled.

To view Louisville Metro Health Equity Report 2017 go to www.HealthEquityReport.com.