[Excerpt from magazine feature]

[....] Cross-pollination between Yale and the community has led to real progress in such areas as infant mortality, but health problems persist. New Haven remains a city where poverty and chronic diseases are intertwined. The city’s minority residents suffer disproportionately from such serious and often preventable illnesses as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma, and heart disease. Rates of chronic disease far exceed those of the state as a whole and those of surrounding communities, according to DataHaven, a local nonprofit. In many cases, the gap is shockingly wide: 11 percent of New Haven’s 130,000 residents have diabetes, compared to 5 percent in the outer-ring suburbs.

More than a fifth of city residents suffer from food insecurity, compared to 7 percent in outer-ring communities.

A closer look at the data reveals that those problems are concentrated in the city’s eight poorest neighborhoods, all of which have largely minority populations: West Rock, Newhallville, Dixwell, Dwight, West River, the Hill, Fair Haven, and Quinnipiac Meadows. About a quarter of the people in those neighborhoods suffer from asthma, double the state rate, according to a 2015 DataHaven study. The incidence of diabetes—13 percent—is nearly twice that of the state as a whole.

The economic gap is equally yawning. As of 2015, the city’s eight poorest neighborhoods had an unemployment rate of 22 percent compared to 5 percent for the rest of the city, according to DataHaven. [....]

As the saying goes, your ZIP Code reveals more about your health than your genetic code. [....]