Regional Health Status

Eastern North Carolina Compared to the Rest of the State, 2006 (rev. 03/11/08)

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

Cause of Death ENC41 to RNC59 ENC29 to RNC71
All Causes 10% greater 8% greater
Heart Disease 20% greater 13% greater
-Coronary Heart Disease 24% greater 12% greater
Cancer All Sites 8% greater 9% greater
-Cancer Trachea, Bronchus, Lung 6% greater 4% greater
-Cancer Colon, Rectum, Anus 8% greater 16% greater
-Cancer Female Breast 18% greater 18% greater
-Cancer Prostate 27% greater 27% greater
-Cancer Cervical 61% greater 27% greater
Stroke 6% greater 8% greater
COPD 6% lesser 11% lesser
Diabetes Mellitus 43% greater 29% greater
Other Unintentional Injuries 3% lesser 5% lesser
Unintentional Motor Vehicle Injuries 48% greater 21% greater
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, nephrosis 20% greater 8% greater
Pneumonia and Influenza 22% lesser 8% lesser
Septicemia 19% greater 21% greater
Suicide 10% lesser same
Homicide 36% greater 12% greater
HIV 44% greater 51% greater

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:

Region Rate Rank
Minnesota 526.7 1st
The rest of NC (59 counties) 777.6 34th
NC 829.5 40th
ENC (41 counties) 955.7 47th
ENC (29 counties) 970.2 48th
Louisiana 1064.1 51st
District of Columbia 1252.1 (worse than any state)
United States 726.9  

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).