The Center for Women’s Health Research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is committed to advancing women’s health through research. In the past we have achieved a greater understanding of the health needs of the women of North Carolina through our biennial report card. Rather than tracking women’s health in two year increments, the 2012 North Carolina Women’s Health Report Card goes a step further and tracks the health of our state’s women from 2001 to 2009. CWHR has also modeled this report card after a traditional report and assigned grades to key statistics. The Report Card is distributed throughout the State to government officials, health care providers, agencies and individuals as a valuable tool in evaluating the health status and health care needs of the 3.7 million women in North Carolina.
- North Carolinian women exceeded many Healthy People 2010 preventative health objectives
o 80% of women over 50 have had a mammogram in the past two years
o 64% of women over 50 have had a colonoscopy.
o 68% of women have been to the dentist in the past 12 months.
- Smoking among women in North Carolina has decreased over the last decade.
- Rates of chronic disease are increasing among women in North Carolina.
o In 2009, more than one in four North Carolinian women were obese and one in 10 had diabetes.
- Birth outcomes in North Carolina are poor
o 9.1% of babies in 2009 were of low birth weight, nearly double the Healthy People 2010 goal of 5% or less.
o Less than half of new mothers are still breastfeeding at three months
o The percentage of women going without first trimester prenatal care is increasing.
- Heart disease is the number one killer of women in North Carolina.
- Skin cancer among women increased by 50% over the last decade.
- The percentage of women experiencing prolonged periods (14 days or more) or poor mental health is increasing
- African American women are two times more likely to be obese than Hispanic women.
- Native American and African American women are nearly two times more likely than Caucasian women to have diabetes.
- African American women are 14 times more likely than Caucasian women to contract HIV.
- More than half of Hispanic women in North Carolina do not have health insurance.
- Caucasian women in North Carolina are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer but African American women are more likely to die from it.
- African American women are less likely than any other racial/ethnic group to breastfeed their children and are more likely to have infants of low birth weight.
- One in four Hispanic women do not get first trimester prenatal care
- Moderate-intensity exercise 2.5 hours a week OR vigorous-intensity exercise 1.25 hours a week AND muscle strengthening exercises two days a week
(Source: National Guidelines on Physical Activity)
- Increase: fruit, vegetable, whole-grain, and low- and fat-free dairy
- Reduce: sodium to less than 2,300 mg, solid fat, added sugar, cholesterol to less than 300 mg (Source: MyFoodPlate.gov)
- Following exercise and dietary guidelines reduces one’s chances of getting high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and many other ailments.
Women Over 40
- Over 40: get a mammogram every one to two years (Source: National Cancer Institute)
- Between 50-75: Get a colonoscopy every 10 years. Other tests are available as well, talk to your health care provider on what is the best option for you
(Source: U.S. Preventative Services Task Force)
Women Over 21
- Get a pap test every three years (Source: U.S. Preventative Services Task Force)
Pregnant and New Moms
- Pregnant or breast-feeding: Same exercise guidelines and increase seafood consumption to 8-12 oz a week while avoiding tilefish, shark, swordfish, king mackerel and no more than 6oz of tuna a week.
- New moms: exclusively breast-feed at least up to six months. Six to 24 months breastfeed with appropriate foods
(Source: World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology)
2009 Women's Health Report Card [English] [Spanish]
2009 Women's Health Report Card Highlights [English] [Spanish]
2009 Women's Health Report Card Regional Insert [English] [Spanish]
2009 Women's Health Report Card Preventive Health Guidelines [English] [Spanish]
2007 NC Women's Health Report Card Disability Insert – Spanish
2007 NC Women's Health Report Card Disability Insert - English
2007 NC Women's Health Report Card Companion Piece - Spanish
2007 NC Women's Health Report Card Companion Piece - English
2007 NC Women's Health Report Card - Spanish
2007 NC Women's Health Report Card - English