By Jenny Connelly-Bowen, CBN Community Development Specialist

This week, we’re sharing maps from the 500 Cities Project, a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the CDC Foundation. The project provides both city- and census-tract level small area estimates for 27 key health measures—including chronic disease risk factors, health outcomes, and preventative service use—for the largest 500 cities in the United States. The project tracks 27 chronic disease measures and publishes them on an interactive, user-friendly map builder and a central hub that allows users to view data according to measure, generate a report that compares up to three cities, download 500 Cities data, or download a PDF that contains maps of all measures by city.

As the CDC notes, the 500 Cities project is a unique step toward helping public officials and local health departments to identify, more thoroughly understand, and set goals around the health challenges and trends facing the residents they serve:

“Although limited data are available at the county and metropolitan levels, this project represents a first-of-its kind data analysis to release information on a large scale for cities and for small areas within cities. This system complements existing surveillance data necessary to more fully understand the health issues affecting the residents of that city or census tract.”

The maps below come from this PDF with maps that track the project’s 27 health measures by census tract in St. Louis City. These ten maps track the 500 Cities Project’s variables that measure use of preventative care at the census tract level (you can review all of the project’s measure definitions here). All data are from 2014 except Blood Pressure Control and Cholesterol Screening, which are from 2013:

  • Lack of Health Insurance Coverage: Respondents aged 18–64 years who report having no current health insurance coverage.
  • Routine Primary Care Physician Visit: Respondents aged 18 years or older who report having been to a doctor for a routine checkup (e.g., a general physical exam, not an exam for a specific injury, illness, condition) in the previous year.
  • Dental Care Visit: Respondents aged 18 years or older who report having been to the dentist or dental clinic in the previous year.
  • Blood Pressure Control: Respondents aged 18 years or older who report taking medicine for high blood pressure.
  • Cholesterol Screening: Respondents aged 18 years or older who report having their cholesterol checked within the previous 5 years.
  • Mammogram (Past 2 Years): Female respondents aged 50-74 years who report having had a mammogram within the previous 2 years.
  • Cervical Cancer Screening (Past 3 Years): Female respondents aged 21–65 years who do not report having had a hysterectomy and who report having had a Papanicolaou (Pap) smear within the previous 3 years.
  • Colon Cancer Screening: Respondents aged 50–75 years who report having had 1) a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) within the past year, 2) a sigmoidoscopy within the past 5 years and a FOBT within the past 3 years, or 3) a colonoscopy within the past 10 years.
  • Up To Date on Core Set of Preventative Services (Adults 65 and older):
    • For women: number of women aged 65 years or older reporting having received all of the following: an influenza vaccination in the past year; a pneumococcal vaccination (PPV) ever; either a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) within the past year, a sigmoidoscopy within the past 5 years and a FOBT within the past 3 years, or a colonoscopy within the previous 10 years; and a mammogram in the past 2 years.
    • For men: Number of men aged 65 years or older reporting having received all of the following: an influenza vaccination in the past year; a PPV ever; and either a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) within the past year, a sigmoidoscopy within the past 5 years and a FOBT within the past 3 years, or a colonoscopy within the past 10 years.

 

 

There is some variation to how St. Louis City residents interact with these preventative measures. Note, for example, that routine checkups seem to be more prevalent in census tracts where a higher percentage of residents report current lack of health insurance coverage. Among women, tracts where a higher percentage report mammography use do not necessarily correspond to those where a higher percentage report Pap smear use. And in general, men aged 65 or older seem more likely to be up to date on their core set of preventative clinical services (between 24.1 and 52.8 percent per tract) than women aged 65 or older (between 15.2 and 42.5 percent per tract).

To access maps from previous editions of the Community Builders Exchange, click here.