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STUDY: New Hanover Co. death rate and binge drinking higher than state average

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -– The New Hanover County Health Department has released the 2011 New Hanover County Community Health Assessment. The community health assessment involves a collaborative process among community partners to evaluate the health status of county, through collecting information firsthand from residents in the county and health data from local, state and federal sources. This provides the opportunity to identify the leading health priorities and develop a plan to effectively address these health issues in New Hanover County. During the interim periods, a State of the County Health Report (SOTCH) is completed annually to highlight progress of programs, policies and environmental changes related to the health priorities and improving the health status of the community.

David E. Rice, New Hanover County Health Director said, “The Community Health Assessment provides a snapshot into the health of New Hanover County residents. This document is a key resource the entire Health community should use when planning strategies to improve health outcomes.”

Below are some key findings from the 2011 New Hanover County Community Health Assessment:

* New Hanover County and North Carolina shared the same top five leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer (all sites), cerebrovascular disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, and unintentional injuries. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in New Hanover County with 1,982 deaths from 2005-2009.
* New Hanover County death rate is higher than the rate for North Carolina; 200.5 per 100,000 persons compared to 191.7.
* Since 2007, New Hanover County continues to have higher percentages of heavy and binge drinkers than North Carolina (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System).
* As of 2009, 80.6 percent of adults in New Hanover County do not consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetable servings per day.
* Chronic diseases, obesity, and drug and alcohol abuse were voice by residents as the county’s biggest health concerns.
* New Hanover County residents collectively expressed the desire for continued community collaboration efforts, attention to youth prevention initiatives, pedestrian safety improvements and community well-being.

For the full version of the 2011 Community Health Assessment or to view the State of the Community Health Report, visit Health Reports on the New Hanover County Health Department’s website.

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