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Center for Health Systems Research & Development

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Regional Health Status:

41-County Eastern North Carolina Compared to the Rest of the State (revised 04/29/13)

In 2011, 20.4% of Eastern North Carolinians reported their health as "poor or fair" compared to 19.3% of citizens in the rest of the state.1

Age-adjusted death rates are substantially greater in Eastern North Carolina than the rest of the state for virtually all major causes of death.2

Heart disease mortality is 12% greater

Cancer (all sites) mortality is 3% greater

Lung cancer mortality is 6% greater

Colon cancer mortality is 2.8% greater

Diabetes mortality is 30% greater

Stroke mortality is 0.8% greater

COPD mortality is 6.3% less

Unintentional motor vehicle injuries mortality is 25% greater

Other Unintentional injuries mortality is 3% greater

Homicide is 29% greater

Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis mortality is 15.5% greater

Septicemia mortality is 7.5% greater

Pneumonia and influenza mortality is 0.2% greater

Suicide is 3% greater

In terms of premature mortality (i.e., years of life lost before age 75), the 2009 US data3 indicate North Carolina ranks 35th among the 50 states. 

If the 41-county Eastern North Carolina region were a state, it would rank 45th; above Oklahoma, Arkansas, West Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the District of Columbia.  If the rest of North Carolina (59 counties) were considered alone, it would rank 29th, with a rate most similar to Michigan's.

The rates and ranks for 2009 are as follows:

  Rate Rank
Minnesota 506.4 1st
The rest of NC (59 counties)
706.1 29th
NC 757.8 35th
ENC (29 counties)
890.9 45th
ENC (41counties)
891.5 45th
Mississippi 1028.8 51st
District of Columbia
943.2 47th
United States

1 North Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 2011.  95% CIs for Eastern NC and Rest of NC are 18.3 – 22.7 and 18.0 – 20.6, respectively.

2 Mortality rates per 100,000 for the year 2010 and age-adjusted to the US 2000 standard million (from NC SCHS's Vital Statistics accessed via UNC—Chapel Hill's Odum Institute).

3 Premature mortality (before age 75) rates per 10,000 for the year 2009 and age-adjusted to the US 2000 standard million (from NCHS's Compressed Mortality Files 1999-2009).