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SCHS Racial and Ethnic Minority Health Data and Publications
This resource is intended to make it easier to find racial and ethnic minority health data on the State Center for Health Statistics (SCHS) web site. Data and publications featuring racial or ethnic differences are listed below. Please note, however, that other publications on the SCHS web site also contain important information on the health of racial and ethnic minorities. Several links to related web sites are also listed at the bottom of this page.
Race is considered a "marker" for certain health problems. Race or ethnicity per se does not cause a particular health problem or status. It is likely that factors such as income, education, access to health care, stress, and racism are among the major causes of the poorer health of minorities on many health measures, compared to whites. Few sources of health data record these types of health information, though most do have information on race or ethnicity. Showing data by race can identify specific areas of disparities and can help target resources and interventions to populations most in need.
In most data collected by the SCHS, race and ethnicity are reported as two separate dimensions. The major racial categories are white, African American, American Indian, and Asian. Ethnicity is defined as Hispanic and non-Hispanic. Thus persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race, though in North Carolina most Hispanics are classified as white.
In the data on the SCHS web site, "minority" race or "other races" is often shown as a single category. Overall, African Americans comprise about 87 percent of persons of minority races in North Carolina. It would be desirable to have more information for specific minority racial groups, such as American Indians or Asians, and for persons of Latino ethnicity. But data limitations, unreliable population estimates, and small numbers of events for these groups often make it difficult to produce reliable information by detailed race group for many indicators, especially at the county level.
SCHS Reports Presenting Data by Specific Races and/or Minority Groups
North Carolina Population & Health Data by Race & Ethnicity – This new report, to be published annually by the State Center, presents a summary of population, mortality, maternal/child health, communicable disease, and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance data for the state by race and ethnicity.
Racial and Ethnic Disparities Report Card – This periodic report is intended to monitor the state’s progress towards eliminating the health status gap between racial and ethnic minorities and the white population. The 2003 report established a baseline for our efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.
North Carolina Minority Health Fact Sheets – These periodic reports present basic health facts about African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indians in the areas of mortality, chronic disease, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, health risk factors, access to health care, quality of life, maternal and infant health, and child and adolescent health.
Cancer Incidence Rates by Race and Ethnicity – This new report, to be published annually by the Central Cancer Registry, presents cancer incidence information for the state by race and ethnicity.
North Carolina Health Data Query System – The SCHS web-based interactive database system provides customized reports of health data based on user-specified selection of variables including queries available by race and ethnicity for most databases.
Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health -The purpose of this periodic report is to document health differences among the major racial and ethnic groups in North Carolina in order to identify areas of disparities that can be targeted for interventions and improvement.
North Carolina Resident Live Births by Selected Risk Factors and Characteristics - Presents data for all resident births by selected demographic characteristics and risk factors. All data are presented by race and ethnicity: White Non-Hispanic, African American Non-Hispanic, Other Non-Hispanic, and Hispanic.
2010: Resident Live Births by Selected Risk Factors and Characteristics - 2010
Life Expectancy - State & County Estimates - This new report presents life expectancies at the state level, for each age interval (1) in total, and by (2) gender, (3) race (white and African American), and (4) race by gender. At the county level, life expectancies are provided for each age interval (1) in total, and by (2) gender and (3) by race (white and African American).
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)- BRFSS is a random telephone survey of state residents ages 18 and older. Through BRFSS, information is collected in a routine, standardized manner at the state level on a variety of health behaviors and preventive health practices related to the leading causes of death and disability such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and injuries. Data for all years are presented by race and ethnicity. 2002 data forward are broken out by English and non-English speaking Hispanic, and non-Hispanic. Due to problems with small numbers, broader racial groups are used for the results for selected counties.
2011: BRFSS - 2011
Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) - North Carolina PRAMS, the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiative to reduce infant mortality and low birth weight. The PRAMS survey collects data on maternal attitudes and experiences prior to, during, and immediately after pregnancy for a sample of North Carolina women. Data are broken out by race (white, African American, and other minorities) and Hispanic origin.
2010: PRAMS - 2010
Child Health Assessment and Monitoring Program (CHAMP) - CHAMP is the first survey of its kind in North Carolina to measure the health status of children, ages 0 to 17. Questions on the CHAMP survey pertain to a wide variety of health-related topics, including breastfeeding, early childhood development, access to health care, oral health, mental health, physical health, nutrition, physical activity, family involvement, and parent opinion on topics such as tobacco and childhood obesity. Survey results are presented by race (white, African American, and other minorities) and Hispanic origin.
Health Profile of North Carolinians – This biennial report summarizes the overall health status of North Carolinians . A special section of the report focuses on minority health and health disparities.
Cancer Facts and Figures– The Central Cancer Registry (CCR) housed at the SCHS collects, processes, and analyzes data on all cases of cancer diagnosed among North Carolina residents. The report includes state-level cancer incidence and mortality data for whites and minorities, as well as some data for African Americans.
Tracking Preconception Health in North Carolina - This tabular data is a first step in reporting and tracking preconception health measures for North Carolina in order to guide efforts to improve the health and wellness of women of reproductive age across the state.
Other SCHS Publications Containing White & Minority Data
North Carolina Vital Statistics, Volume 1: Population, Births, Deaths, Marriages, Divorces - Numbers and rates are broken out by white and minority, for the state and each county.
2011: North Carolina Vital Statistics, Volume 1 - 2011
North Carolina Vital Statistics, Volume 2: Leading Causes of Death -The top ten causes of death are ranked for whites, blacks, American Indians, and Hispanics (statewide).
2011: North Carolina Vital Statistics, Volume 2: Leading Causes of Death - 2011
Detailed Mortality Statistics, North Carolina Residents – The number of deaths by cause of death and age group are broken out by white male, white female, minority male, and minority female, for the state and each county.
2011: Detailed Mortality Statistics, North Carolina Residents, 2011
North Carolina Reported Pregnancies - Numbers and rates are broken out by white and minority, for the state and each county.
2011: North Carolina Reported Pregnancies for 2011
Infant Mortality Statistics - Data are broken out by white and other races. State and county data are included.
2011: Infant Mortality Statistics 2011
Basic Automated Birth Yearbook, North Carolina Residents – Numbers of live births are classified by selected infant and maternal characteristics. Data are broken out by white and minority, for the state and each county .
2011: Basic Automated Birth Yearbook - 2011
N.C. Cancer Incidence Rates - Rates are broken out at the state level by white and minority and by white male, white female, minority male, and minority female. Links to data from other years are also available on this page.
N.C. Cancer Mortality Rates - Rates are broken out at the state level by white and minority and by white male, white female, minority male, and minority female. Links to data from other years are also available on this page.
County Health Data Book - The State Center for Health Statistics creates the County Health Data Book on an annual basis to provide communities with quantitative data to support community health assessments. The County Health Data Book includes a wide range of health-related county and state data. Selected data are presented by white and minority, or white and black. Links to data from prior years can be accessed at the bottom of the page.
Pocket Guide – Selected data in this biennial SCHS publication are broken out by white and minority, or white and African American.
2009: Pocket Guide - 2009
Other Recent SCHS Studies & Reports Presenting Health Data by Race and/or Ethnicity
The web site of the North Carolina Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities presents a variety of information on efforts to reduce health disparities in the state:
The North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs website presents information on American Indian tribes in the state and programs established to offer aid and protection for Indians as needs are demonstrated, prevent undue hardships, and assist Indian communities in social and economic development.
In April 2002, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, in partnership with El Pueblo, a statewide policy and advocacy organization, convened the Latino Health Task Force to study and address Latino health issues in North Carolina . Links to their final report are available at their website.
The UNC Minority Health Project was created in an effort to improve the quality of available data on racial and ethnic populations, expand the capacity of minority-health researchers to conduct statistical research and develop research proposals, and foster a network of researchers in minority health.
The mission of the U.S. Office of Minority Health is to improve and protect the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will eliminate health disparities. Their Data/Statistics page has a variety of data for specific races, as well as Hispanics/Latinos.
Page last updated February 25, 2013