New study sheds more light on the health status of Chicago’s South Side

Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD, MAPP, principal investigator of the University of Chicago Medicine South Side Health & Vitality Studies discusses new findings on health, technology use and awareness of community resources among residents of Chicago’s South Side.

In the recently published South Side Population Health Study, researchers conducted one-hour, in-home surveys with 267 randomly selected participants for data on physical and mental health, health-related behaviors, computer and phone ownership, Internet usage and utilization of community services. Participants’ underwent a basic wellness screening including blood pressure and blood glucose levels. The study establishes several concrete statistics to support previous indicators of the top health concerns among the South Side’s largely African-American communities.

Key Highlights from the South Side Population Health Study

  • 24% of the study population reported having no form of health insurance
  • 26% of people reported being in excellent or very good physical health, compared to 53% nationally
  • The rate of diabetes in the study area is 13% higher than in the national population
  • 26% of participants with diabetes had never been diagnosed by a doctor
  • 73% of participants with prediabetes had never been diagnosed by a doctor
  • 47% of study participants had high blood pressure compared to 34% of US residents
  • 54% of study participants were obese compare to 29% of US residents
  • 47% of study participants were food insecure: they worried food would run out or they experienced a time when food did run out

Several community leaders and stakeholders were engaged in the study design and implementation. Download the full report for a snapshot of the findings (PDF).

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