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Positive Findings

Improvements in insurance status: there is an overall improvement in insurance status that does not seem to be attributed to employer sponsored insurance or Medicare/Medicaid.

  • 83% of women 18-64 years of age reported having health insurance of any kind compared to 79% in 2012 and 2013.1
    • 71% of women 18-64 years of age reported having private health insurance. Of that number:
      • 80% had insurance from employer/union
      • 19% purchased insurance directly
      • 6% had insurance through TRICARE
    • 15% of women 18-64 years of age reported having publichealth insurance. Of that number:
      • 79% had insurance through Medicaid
      • 30% had insurance through Medicare
      • 5% had insurance through US Dept. of Veterans Affairs
      • 0.3% had insurance through Indian Health Services

Meeting Healthy People 2020 targets: NC women are exceeding Healthy People 2020 targets for colorectal cancer screenings, and are close to matching targets for mammograms.

  • Healthy People 2020 colorectal screening target is: 70.5%2
    • 73.9% of North Carolina women aged 50-75 are receiving colorectal screenings3
  • Healthy People 2020 mammogram target is: 81.1%2
    • 80.7% of North Carolina women aged 50-74 are receiving mammograms ever two years to screen for breast cancer.3

Increase in educational attainment: there is a slight increase in the number of women completing high school and seeking a higher education.

  • North Carolina women over the age of 25 reported an educational attainment of:1
    • Less than high school: 12%
    • High school graduate/GED: 25%
    • Some college: 33%
    • A bachelor’s degree or higher: 29%
    • Research has demonstrated that people with more education are likely to live longer, to experience better health outcomes and to practice health-promoting behaviors such as exercising regularly, refraining from smoking, and obtaining timely health care check-ups and screenings.

Adverse Findings

Racial disparities: disparities were noticeable when it came to data reflecting health access and screenings.

  • On the whole, Caucasian women are much more likely to be diagnosed with a range of illnesses, such as chronic disease, cardiovascular disease, and depression. They are also more likely to report cancer, and less likely to die from cancer. This suggests a racial health disparity in doctor willingness to diagnose or a lack of doctor access.
  • Although data is often unavailable, Hispanic/Asian/Other women appear to have very low health screening rates.

Chronic disease: over a quarter of the state’s women are living with one or more chronic diseases which has a negative impact on the overall physical, mental, and financial well-being of women.3

  • Women with no chronic diseases: 44.1%
  • Women with 1 chronic disease: 26.5%
  • Women with 2 or more chronic diseases: 29.4%
  • The data shows that after age 65, over half (52.7%) of North Carolina women are living with two or more chronic diseases.

Rates of obesity remain high: more women in North Carolina are now classified as either overweight or obese than are within their recommended weight range.3

  • African American women have the highest rate of obesity at 44.9%
  • 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


  1. American Community Survey Data (1-year samples from IPUMS-USA)
  2. Healthy People 2020
  3. 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)