North Carolina Women's Health Report Card

The Center for Women's Health Research (CWHR) released our eighth-edition 2014 North Carolina Women's Health Report Card May 12, 2014. This document is a progress report on the health and health care needs of North Carolina's 5+ million women. Research efforts that require the most attention are identified through the collection and analysis of data for the report card. Current areas of research targeted by the Center include perinatal health, cancers affecting women, obesity, diabetes, women’s cardiovascular health, women’s mental health and substance abuse. These same key areas are examined within the current edition. It is the only health report of its kind in North Carolina.

Previous editions have been released biennially and tracked the state’s female health statistics in two year increments. CWHR’s 2012 edition analyzed indicators over a nine-year time period which allowed for the inclusion of a trends analysis. In 2014, due to changes in data collection, CWHR decided to represent data for 2012 or 2011 only as appropriate.

The 2014 North Carolina Women's Health Report Card was released May 12, 2014. Click the image above to view findings and more!

Download PDF of 2014 North Carolina Women's Health Report Card

Key Findings

Positive Findings

  • In 2012, more women had health insurance than previous years.
    • 80.8% of employed women (ages 18 to 64) had health insurance
  • Preventative screening rates continue to rise for North Carolina women. Data shows the state is exceeding Healthy People 2020goals for mammograms, colonoscopies, and dental care.
    • Healthy People 2020 target is 49%
    • The NC rates are:
      • 72.4% women 50+ have ever had a sigmoldoscopy or colonoscopy
      • 79.4% of women 50+ have had a mammogram in the last 2 years
      • 68.4% women have visited the dentist/dental clinic in the past year
      • Eighty percent of pregnant North Carolina women are seeking first trimester prenatal care, and 44.7% are seeking crucial dental care during pregnancy.
        • A surge in pregnancy hormones can increase the risk of gingivitis and other oral diseases that may lead to health implications for the mother and fetus.
        • Early care in pregnancy helps identify risk factors, provide counseling on lifestyle (such as nutrition, physical exercise, drug use, etc), and helps to accurately determine the growth/age of the fetus

Adverse Findings

  • The percent of North Carolina women classified as obese or overweight exceed the women in a recommended weight range.
    • African American women have the highest rate of obesity at 44.6%
    • Obesity plays an important role in the risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. These increased risks place a greater burden on the health care system and economy
  • Binge drinking and smoking rates for women in North Carolina exceed national averages.
    • 19.3% of women report currently smoking
    • 8.2% of women report participating in binge drinking (4 or more drinks within about 2 hours)
    • 4.5% of women report participating in heavy drinking (8 or more drinks a week)
    • Rates for initiating breast-feeding are comparative to the national average; however, by the eight-week mark the percent of mothers exclusively breast-feeding drops sharply and is below the national average.

 

 

CWHR utilized the services of Carolina Demography to collect the data found within the report card. Carolina Demography is a service of the Carolina Population Center at UNC-Chapel Hill that focuses on population change. They provide a full array of demographic services for North Carolina businesses, foundations, government agencies, schools, not-for-profit organizations, and many more.

Their assistance makes it possible for us to include the following expanded population chart with projected population changes and median ages. According to Dr. Rebecca Tippett, Director of Carolina Demography, “North Carolina’s female population is experiencing the same demographic trends occurring in the population at large: an increasing concentration in urban/metropolitan areas with population decline in rural counties; increasing diversity; and population aging.”

Data is courtesy the Carolina Population Center's Carolina Demography and is compiled utilizing North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management's Population Estimates Report.

(Click each image below to view in larger scale)

County Names
County Identifier
Median Age
Median ages by county for 2012 and 2020
Population Change
Percent of populations change projected between 2012 and 2020

July 1, 2012 Estimate

July 1, 2020 Projection

Projected Pop Change (2012-2020)

Median Age

County Total Population Total Population Numeric Percent 2012 2020
North Carolina, Statewide 5,011,884 5,456,980 445,096 9% 39.14 40.4
Alamance 80,384 85,384 5,000 6% 40.27 41.48
Alexander 18,549 18,509 -40 0% 42.92 45.02
Alleghany 5,562 5,195 -367 -7% 48.14 49.95
Anson 12,732 12,530 -202 -2% 41.69 42.53
Ashe 13,789 13,934 145 1% 47.93 49.49
Avery 8,092 8,006 -86 -1% 45.39 46.12
Beaufort 24,828 24,950 122 0% 46.03 47.89
Bertie 10,394 9,693 -701 -7% 46.03 46.57
Bladen 18,262 18,322 60 0% 43.2 44.91
Brunswick 57,045 65,109 8,064 14% 49.58 51.69
Buncombe 127,096 139,658 12,562 10% 42.68 43.84
Burke 45,024 43,763 -1,261 -3% 43.77 45.13
Cabarrus 94,254 106,738 12,484 13% 38.37 40.06
Caldwell 41,928 40,991 -937 -2% 43.13 45.22
Camden 4,999 4,797 -202 -4% 41.13 44.78
Carteret 34,444 37,146 2,702 8% 48.06 50.03
Caswell 11,589 11,504 -85 -1% 46.33 48.08
Catawba 79,318 82,607 3,289 4% 41.27 42.94
Chatham 34,526 40,123 5,597 16% 46.3 49.63
Cherokee 14,054 13,952 -102 -1% 50.08 51.07
Chowan 7,821 7,738 -83 -1% 46.71 46.6
Clay 5,432 5,667 235 4% 52.04 53.31
Cleveland 50,601 49,279 -1,322 -3% 42.29 44.31
Columbus 29,060 29,003 -57 0% 42.62 43.34
Craven 53,193 54,594 1,401 3% 38.72 38.43
Cumberland 170,532 183,673 13,141 8% 33.36 35.35
Currituck 12,178 12,527 349 3% 42.1 43.79
Dare 17,408 19,856 2,448 14% 45.53 46.36
Davidson 83,146 82,592 -554 -1% 42.04 43.96
Davie 21,279 21,474 195 1% 43.96 46.22
Duplin 30,612 33,392 2,780 9% 40.03 41.63
Durham 148,693 177,762 29,069 20% 34.48 36.31
Edgecombe 30,081 29,799 -282 -1% 41.97 43.5
Forsyth 188,059 203,634 15,575 8% 38.81 39.33
Franklin 30,966 32,998 2,032 7% 41.42 44.07
Gaston 107,182 112,688 5,506 5% 40.63 42.11
Gates 6,033 5,934 -99 -2% 42.69 43.68
Graham 4,467 4,846 379 8% 46.46 46.09
Granville 27,023 28,734 1,711 6% 41.93 44.27
Greene 9,932 9,828 -104 -1% 40.2 41.7
Guilford 263,608 296,387 32,779 12% 37.64 38.34
Halifax 28,298 27,322 -976 -3% 44.18 45.45
Harnett 61,514 72,704 11,190 18% 34.6 36.3
Haywood 30,633 32,069 1,436 5% 47.99 49.68
Henderson 56,070 57,704 1,634 3% 47.94 48.82
Hertford 12,450 11,797 -653 -5% 43.67 44.42
Hoke 25,713 31,027 5,314 21% 32.25 34.95
Hyde 2,543 2,688 145 6% 46.25 47.27
Iredell 82,834 89,941 7,107 9% 40.81 42.58
Jackson 20,521 21,462 941 5% 38.23 39.14
Johnston 88,993 98,191 9,198 10% 38.16 40.08
Jones 5,496 5,553 57 1% 44.96 44.01
Lee 30,350 33,967 3,617 12% 38.95 40.05
Lenoir 31,071 30,806 -265 -1% 43.63 43.94
Lincoln 40,111 41,633 1,522 4% 42.27 44.87
Macon 17,382 17,792 410 2% 50.5 50.74
Madison 10,651 11,161 510 5% 45.63 48.42
Martin 12,861 12,083 -778 -6% 45.92 48.26
McDowell 22,516 22,288 -228 -1% 43.92 46.06
Mecklenburg 497,962 587,114 89,152 18% 35.53 37.91
Mitchell 7,903 7,853 -50 -1% 47.83 47.92
Montgomery 14,441 15,844 1,403 10% 41.87 44.96
Moore 47,319 52,191 4,872 10% 47.09 48.44
Nash 49,462 47,717 -1,745 -4% 42.02 44.71
New Hanover 108,156 122,974 14,818 14% 39.16 40.48
Northampton 11,033 10,035 -998 -9% 48.22 48.35
Onslow 88,827 105,283 16,456 19% 28.38 28.67
Orange 72,035 80,766 8,731 12% 34.1 35.77
Pamlico 6,443 6,544 101 2% 50.72 51.45
Pasquotank 20,220 19,608 -612 -3% 38.32 39.36
Pender 27,097 30,521 3,424 13% 42.33 43.48
Perquimans 7,129 7,721 592 8% 48.13 50.48
Person 20,322 20,300 -22 0% 43.3 44.88
Pitt 91,023 99,601 8,578 9% 32.46 34.82
Polk 10,620 10,245 -375 -4% 51.72 52.93
Randolph 72,359 72,582 223 0% 41.15 42.71
Richmond 23,471 23,308 -163 -1% 40.88 41.85
Robeson 69,270 69,731 461 1% 36.21 37.85
Rockingham 48,175 47,128 -1,047 -2% 44.18 45.72
Rowan 70,139 70,435 296 0% 40.76 41.92
Rutherford 35,131 37,227 2,096 6% 44.22 46.43
Sampson 32,693 34,723 2,030 6% 40.06 41.4
Scotland 18,867 18,563 -304 -2% 40.22 41.09
Stanly 30,550 30,374 -176 -1% 42.54 43.6
Stokes 24,087 23,152 -935 -4% 44.64 46.79
Surry 37,773 38,484 711 2% 43.26 44.86
Swain 7,383 7,985 602 8% 41.65 40.04
Transylvania 17,161 16,796 -365 -2% 51.29 52.25
Tyrrell 1,892 1,855 -37 -2% 46.96 47.65
Union 105,549 116,577 11,028 10% 37.96 39.51
Vance 24,174 24,283 109 0% 40.7 41.96
Wake 486,304 572,933 86,629 18% 36.13 38.78
Warren 10,182 9,654 -528 -5% 47.23 47.77
Washington 6,852 6,652 -200 -3% 45.56 47.06
Watauga 25,981 28,160 2,179 8% 30.34 31.44
Wayne 63,172 66,931 3,759 6% 38.63 39.74
Wilkes 35,233 36,569 1,336 4% 44.38 46.45
Wilson 42,786 44,967 2,181 5% 40.9 43.03
Yadkin 19,448 19,012 -436 -2% 43.29 44.73
Yancey 9,078 9,078 0 0% 47.71 48.63

Health Recommendations Mini

 

Download PDF of Health Recommendations

 

Ages 18–39

Ages 40–49

Ages 50–64

Ages 65 and older

Alcohol Use

Excessive alcohol consumption can have social and medical implications. Studies have shown that alcohol use during pregnancy can result in long-term complications for the child.^

A standard drink is equal to 14.0 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol. Moderate drinking for women is defined as having up to 1 drink per day. Heavy drinking for women is defined as 8 or more drinks a week. Binge drinking for women is defined as 4 or more drinks within about 2 hours. Women who may become pregnant or who are pregnant should not drink alcoholic beverages.^

Blood pressure test

Having high blood pressure means the pressure of the blood in your blood vessels is higher than it should be. This common condition increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death for Americans. ^

Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).
Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.
Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.*

Bone mineral density test
(osteoporosis screening)

Osteoporosis or "porous bone" is a disease of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. Osteoporosis leads to an increase risk of bone fractures typically in the wrist, hip, and spine.^

 

 

Discuss with your doctor or nurse if you are at risk of osteoporosis.*

Get this test at least once at age 65 or older. Talk to your doctor or nurse about repeat testing.*

Breast cancer screening
(mammogram)

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.^

 

Discuss with your doctor or nurse.*

Starting at age 50, get screened every 2 years. Age 75 and older, ask your doctor or nurse if you need to be screened. *

Breastfeeding Guidelines

Breastfeeding results in improved infant and maternal health outcomes.~

Infants should be breastfed exclusively up to six months. Appropriate foods may be introduced at 6 months and breastfeeding should be continued through 1 year or as mutually desired by mother and infant.~

 

Cervical cancer screening
(Pap test)

The Pap test (or Pap smear) looks for precancers, cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately. When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable and associated with long survival and good quality of life.^

Get a Pap test every 3 years if you are 21 or older and have a cervix. If you are 30 or older, you can get a Pap test and HPV test together every 5 years.*

Ask your doctor or nurse if you need to get a Pap test.*

Chlamydia test

Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in the United States. Although it is easy to cure, chlamydia can make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant if left untreated.^

Get tested for chlamydia yearly through age 24 if you are sexually active or pregnant. Age 25 and older, get tested for chlamydia if you are at increased risk, pregnant or not pregnant.*

Cholesterol test

Excess cholesterol can build up within the arteries and lead to heart disease.^

Starting at age 20, get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease. Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.*

Colorectal cancer screening
(using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy)

Detects the presence of precancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum. Screening helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure. ^

Starting at age 50 through age 75, get screened for colorectal cancer.
Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.*

Dental Visits

Regular dental visits aide in the prevention and detection of tooth decay, oral cancers, and other diseases.^

 

Visit your dentist regularly, particularly if you are planning on getting pregnant or are pregnant.**

Diabetes screening

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. ^

Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.*

Eat Well

Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn about healthy eating habits, weight loss and maintenance and more. Guidelines for pregnant or breastfeeding women are included.

Gonorrhea test

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease which, if left untreated, can cause serious health problems.

Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at increased risk, pregnant or not pregnant.*

Get tested for gonorrhea if you are sexually active and at increased risk.*

Health Insurance

The Affordable Care Act requires most U.S. citizens and legal residents to have health insurance. Speak to your employer, or visit www.healthcare.gov to learn about Marketplace or Medicaid/CHIP coverage.

HIV test

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS.^

Get tested for HIV at least once.
Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse because you may need more frequent tests.
All pregnant women need to be tested for HIV.*

Get tested for HIV at least once.
Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse because you may need more frequent tests.*

HPV Vaccine

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. HPV can lead to health problems like genital warts and cancer^

All girls ages 11 or 12 years should get vaccinated. Catch-up vaccines are recommended for females through age 26, if they did not get vaccinated when they were younger. ^

 

Influenza Vaccine

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. ^

Everyone over six months of age should be vaccinated each year. CDC does not recommend one flu vaccine over the other. The proper vaccine will be determined by your healthcare provider based on your age and health status. ^

Intimate Partner Violence

Abuse is never acceptable. Visit www.thehotline.org, call 800-799-SAFE (7233), or speak to a trusted medical provider to learn more about getting help.

Pap Tests

See Cervical Cancer Guidelines above

Physical Activity

Adults who are physically active are healthier and less likely to develop many chronic diseases than adults who are inactive. They also have better fitness, including a healthier body size and composition.#

Perform 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity each week. Also do muscle-strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week Currently inactive adults should work up to the recommended guidelines. #

Women 65 and older should remain physically active. Discuss a plan with your doctor or nurse to integrate aerobic and muscle strengthening activities into your lifestyle.#

Pneumococcal Vaccine

The major types of pneumococcal disease are pneumonia (lung infection), bacteremia (blood infection), and meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord). Less severe clinical diseases include ear and sinus infections. An estimated 5-7% of the population die from it each year.^

Discuss with your doctor or nurse to see if you are at a high risk of pneumococcal disease. ^

All adults 65 and older should receive the vaccine.^

Syphilis test

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that can have very serious complications when left untreated.^

Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk or pregnant.*

Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk.*

* Women’s Health.gov ^ CDC ~American Academy of Pediatrics #National Guidelines on Physical Activity **American Dental Association