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
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:
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.