BY SCOTT CANON
Kansas City has a thing for drugs, guns and smokes.
And that’s killing us.
Data released Tuesday comparing cities on various measures of public health showed Kansas City residents more likely than those elsewhere to drop dead from drugs in the heroin family, to get injured or killed by firearms or to die from lung cancer.
The numbers released by the Big Cities Health Coalition compared 28 cities on measures ranging from cancer deaths to binge drinking. (Fewer Kansas Citians tend to get drunk than those in other cities.) The database covers the largest cities in the country defined by the population within their city limits. That leaves out some large metro areas, such as St. Louis. And not all cities reported data in every category.
Largely drawn from city health departments, the numbers showed deaths from opiates in Kansas City at 15.7 for every 100,000 people — or more than three times the national average.