The eastern region of North Carolina continues to be less healthy than the rest of the state. In 2006, 20.0 % of Eastern North Carolinians reported their health as "poor or fair" compared to 17.0% of citizens in the rest of the state.1 Age-adjusted death rates are substantially greater in the 41-county Eastern North Carolina region 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), the 2004 US data3 indicates North Carolina ranks 40th among the 50 states. With the exception of Virginia, North Carolina ranks above the other southern states (including Oklahoma).
If the 41-county Eastern North Carolina region were a state, it would rank 47th and would rank above Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the District of Columbia. If the rest of North Carolina (59 counties) were considered alone, it would rank 34th, with a rate most similar to Maryland's.
The rates and ranks for 2004 are as follows:
1 North Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 2006. Statistically significant at p=.05, 95% CIs for Eastern NC and Rest of NC are 18.6 - 22.5 and 16.1 - 18.0, respectively.
2 Mortality rates per 100,000 for the year 2006 and age-adjusted to the US 2000 standard million (from NCHS's Compressed Mortality Files 1999-2004).
3 Premature mortality (before age 75) rates per 10,000 for the year 2004 and age-adjusted to the US 2000 standard million (from NCHS's Compressed Mortality Files 1999-2004).