Life may be short but New Yorkers are doing their best to squeeze every last drop of breath out of it. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported that fewer New Yorkers died in 2004 than in any other year in recent history. This is being attributing to declining rates of colon cancer, homicide, and AIDS related deaths. But the largest contributor may be a recent drop in heart attacks possibly due to another record - fewer New Yorkers smoking than ever before! If you live in the 5 boroughs, you can expect to make it to your 78th birthday (on average). The top three killers in the city are heart disease, cancer, and influenza/pneumonia. So start exercising, stop smoking, and get your flu shot (and then start watching Matlock).
For some non-light reading, the full DOHMH report is available here.