The Boston Public Health Commission released the latest "Health of Boston" report on Thursday, which shows the overall health of Boston residents is improving. The 2016-2017 report found decreases in the number of teenage pregnancies and people dying from cancer.
The report also underscores growing challenges, including a high rate of opioid deaths, an increase in chronic disease rates, and more adults experiencing anxiety and sadness.
In a statement, Mayor Marty Walsh called the report “a roadmap to drive and prioritize" the city's public health work.
The report, more than 600 pages long, uses data from several sources, including the US census, birth and death registries, hospital databases, and data from local and city agencies. It provides a broad picture of the health of Boston residents.
Among other findings, the report shows a decrease in teenage pregnancy, a decrease in the percentage of high school students who reported smoking, and a decrease in deaths among black infants. The mortality rate due to opioid overdoses, the report found, increased by 130 percent between 2011 and 2015, and the increase was driven solely by fentanyl.
The report also shows that chronic disease rates are up as adults struggle to get enough exercise, one in five adults experience persistent anxiety, and one in ten adults experience persistent sadness. The percentage of adults with persistent anxiety increased from 18 percent in 2006 to 22 percent in 2015.
Data also show stark differences in health experience across population groups and persistent racial and ethnic inequities, and highlights differences in health outcomes between men and women.