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Center for Health Systems Research & Development


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Regional Health Status:
Eastern North Carolina Compared to the Rest of the State, 2005

The eastern region of North Carolina continues to be less healthy than the rest of the state. In 2005, 21% of Eastern North Carolinians reported their health as "poor or fair" compared to 18% of citizens in the rest of the state. 1 Death rates in the region are substantially greater than the rest of the state. The age-adjusted 2005 mortality rates in the 41-county Eastern North Carolina region are greater than the rest of the state (59 counties) for virtually all major causes of death.2

Cause of Death
ENC41 to RNC59
ENC29 to RNC71
All Causes
11% greater
12% greater
Heart Disease
20% greater
15% greater
-Coronary Heart Disease
24% greater
10% greater
Cancer All Sites
11% greater
14% greater
-Cancer Trachea, Bronchus, Lung
14% greater
11% greater
-Cancer Colon, Rectum, Anus
16% greater
10% greater
-Cancer Female Breast
24% greater
37% greater
-Cancer Prostate
12% greater
19% greater
-Cancer Cervix
78% greater
84% greater
Stroke
10% greater
14% greater
COPD
4% lesser
same
Diabetes Mellitus
42% greater
38% greater
Other Unintentional Injuries
6% lesser
5% lesser
Unintentional Motor Vehicle Injuries
36% greater
29% greater
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, nephrosis
21% greater
21% greater
Pneumonia and Influenza
3% lesser
same
Septicemia
21% greater
17% greater
Homicide
28% greater
19% greater
Suicide
1% greater
6% greater
HIV
59% greater
27% greater

In terms of premature mortality, (i.e. years of life lost before age 75), North Carolina ranks 38th among the 50 states.3 With the exception of Virginia, North Carolina ranks above other southern states and also ranks above New Mexico and Nevada. (See map for NC county and regional comparisons.)

If the 41-county Eastern North Carolina region were a state, it would rank 47th and would rank above Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the District of Columbia. If the rest of North Carolina (59 counties) were considered alone, it would rank 31st, with a rate similar to Alaska's.

The rates and ranks for 2003 are as follows:



Rate

Rank
 
Minnesota  
548.2
 
1st

The rest of NC (59 counties)  
784.4
 
31st

NC  
832.6
 
38th
 
ENC (41 counties)  
950.5
 
47th

ENC (29 counties)  
951.4
 
47th
 
Mississippi  
1076.6
 
51st
 
District of Columbia  
1309.5
 
(worse than any state)
 
United States  
746.1
 

1 North Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 2005. Statistically significant at p=.05, 95%CIs for Eastern NC and Rest of NC are 19.5 - 22.2 and 16.8 - 18.6, respectively.
2 Mortality rates per 100,000 for the year 2005 and age-adjusted to the US 2000 standard million.
3 Computed for 2003, the most recent year US data are available using US Compressed MortalityFile.