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|
|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 (pdf)
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:
|The rest of NC (59 counties)||784.4||31st|
|ENC (41 counties)||950.5||47th|
|ENC (29 counties)||951.4||47th|
|District of Columbia||1309.5||(worse than any state)|
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.