Regional Health Status

29-County Eastern North Carolina Compared to the Rest of the State (revised 02/17/12)

In 2009, 23.6% of Eastern North Carolinians reported their health as "poor or fair" compared to 17.2% of citizens in the rest of the state.1

Age-adjusted death rates are substantially greater in Eastern North Carolina than the rest of the state for virtually all major causes of death.2

  • Heart disease mortality is 11% greater
  • Cancer (all sites) mortality is 11% greater
  • Lung cancer mortality is 12.6% greater
  • Colon cancer mortality is 14% greater
  • Diabetes mortality is 44% greater
  • Stroke mortality is 16.1% greater
  • COPD mortality is 12.9% less
  • Unintentional motor vehicle injuries mortality is 26.6% greater
  • Other Unintentional injuries mortality is 5.8% greater
  • Homicide mortality is 23.7% greater
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis mortality is 21% greater
  • Septicemia mortality is 7.9% greater
  • Pneumonia and influenza mortality is 3.6% greater
  • Suicide is .1% greater

In terms of premature mortality (i.e., years of life lost before age 75), the 2007 US data3 indicate North Carolina ranks 38th among the 50 states.

If the 29-county Eastern North Carolina region were a state, it would rank 45th; above Oklahoma, Arkansas, West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the District of Columbia. If the rest of North Carolina (71 counties) were considered alone, it would rank 35th, with a rate most similar to Missouri's.

The rates and ranks for 2007 are as follows:

Region Rate Rank
Minnesota 516.3 1st
The rest of NC (71 counties) 781.7 35th
NC 803.3 38th
ENC (41 counties) 929.4 45th
ENC (29 counties) 933.3 45th
Mississippi 1078.8 51st
District of Columbia 1101.9 (worse than any state)
United States 708.7  

1 North Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 2009. Statistically significant at p=.05, 95% CIs for Eastern NC and Rest of NC are 18.8 – 29.1 and 16.1 – 18.5, respectively.

2 Mortality rates per 100,000 for the year 2009 and age-adjusted to the US 2000 standard million (from NC SCHS's Vital Statistics accessed via UNC—Chapel Hill's Odum Institute).

3 Premature mortality (before age 75) rates per 10,000 for the year 2007 and age-adjusted to the US 2000 standard million (from NCHS's Compressed Mortality Files 1999-2007).