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Positive Findings

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.

  • The Healthy People 2020 colorectal screening target is 70.5%.1
    • 76% of North Carolina women aged 50+ are receiving colorectal screenings.2
  • The Healthy People 2020 mammogram target is 81.1%.1
    • 79% of North Carolina women aged 50+ are receiving mammograms every two years to screen for breast cancer.2

Improvements in insurance status: there is an overall improvement in insurance status, though the percentage of those with employer-sponsored insurance or Medicare/Medicaid has decreased.

  • 87% of women 18-64 years of age reported having health insurance of any kind compared to 83% in 2014.3
  • 73% of women 18-64 years of age reported having private health insurance. Of that number:
    • 79% had insurance from an employer or union.
    • 20% purchased insurance directly.
    • 6% had insurance through TRICARE.
  • 17% of women 18-64 years of age reported having public health insurance. Of that number:
    • 78% had insurance through Medicaid.
    • 30% had insurance through Medicare.
    • 7% had insurance through U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Adverse Findings

Racial disparities: disparities were noticeable in data reflecting health care access and screenings.

  • On the whole, Caucasian women are 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 and Asian 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.2

  • Women with no chronic diseases: 44%.
  • Women with 1 chronic disease: 28%.
  • Women with 2 or more chronic diseases: 29%.
  • The data show that in ages 65-74, almost half (49%) 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.2
  • African American women have the highest rate of obesity at 50%.
  • 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. 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)