Comparative risk assessment (CRA) methods have been developed and applied to assess the mortality burden of key modifiable risk factors at the national level in the US population and elsewhere. Since these methods provide a consistent, comparable framework for examining multiple risk factors, they are useful for health policy and planning. While studies of the US population can inform national initiatives (e.g., Healthy People 2020), health risks and mortality patterns vary regionally and locally. New York City has a particularly diverse population, reflected in risk behaviors and mortality patterns that differ from the US overall. Therefore, applying the CRA framework to local data enables evidence-based prioritization of health policies at the local level.

This presentation outlines steps taken by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to implement a CRA for 12 dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors. Examples of how the CRA findings are guiding new DOHMH health initiatives will be discussed. Aims of the presentation are to facilitate use of CRA methods by other local communities, to report the burden of preventable disease in New York City, and to compare those findings to the national CRA results.


Cate Corey, MSPH, is a Research Scientist in the Bureau of Epidemiology Services at the New York City DOMHM. She is responsible for processing, managing, and analyzing multiple data sets for purposes of public health surveillance. Cate also participates in a range of analytic projects and provides technical and analytic consultations to public health programs. Her research interests include measuring disparities in cardiovascular disease outcomes and small area estimation methods.