203674 Higher Prevalence of Negative Health Outcomes Found Among Youth Living in Low-Income Zip Codes in Albany, New York

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Kristi McClamroch, PhD , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University at Albany, School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
Rachel Hart, MPH , Division of HIV Health Care, New York State Department of Health AIDS Instititue, Albany, NY
Dwight Williams, MSW , School of Public Health, University at Albany, Rennselaer, NY
F. Bruce Coles, DO , Bureau of STD control, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
Inner-city youth are at risk for a number of negative health and public health outcomes. The Albany Youth Health Survey was conducted to assess the health needs of youth in the small urban community of Albany, New York. A total of 432 male and female participants of the City of Albany Summer Youth Employment Program were interviewed on a number of health topics, including sexual activities that contribute to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, drug and alcohol abuse, gang-related and other community violence, domestic violence, relationship violence, smoking, physical exercise, nutrition/diet, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and poverty. Over one-half (59%) of participants lived in low-income zip codes, defined as zip codes with an average annual household income of $26,000 or less; the rest lived in zip codes with incomes ranging up to $42,000. Youth in low-income zip codes had consistently higher prevalence of negative outcomes compared to participants in the higher income zip codes, including feeling unsafe in their neighborhoods and at school, reporting gangs as an important problem in their community, and having a higher prevalence of sexual activity, gang activity, and marijuana use. The survey results suggest that the socioeconomic environment may be an important factor in the health-related behavior of Albany's urban youth. The relevance of these findings for efforts to improve services provided in community-based programs will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the need to tailor health education and health promotion programs to the needs of specific youth communities; Identify health behaviors and other outcomes of youth in Albany, New York, a small urban community; Evaluate the relationship between health outcomes of teens and zip-code level socio-economic status; Discuss the implications of the survey findings in designing health education interventions among inner-city youth residing in small urban communities.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Urban Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI for the Albany Youth Health Survey, and Executive Director for a mentoring program of inner-city youth in Albany, NY
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.