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Highlights 2001

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

The 2001 North Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey was the state's largest BRFSS to date, both in terms of the number of interviews conducted and questions included in the survey (see the questionnaire). The survey was expanded from 3,016 interviews in 2000 to 6,205 interviews in 2001. Also for the first time, the NC-BRFSS over-sampled 10 of the most populous counties to produce long-sought local-level BRFSS estimates. The rest of the state was divided into three regions primarily consisting of rural counties. The 2001 results are presented in 3,402 tables on the BRFSS web site by sex, race, Hispanic origin, age groups education level, household income, and county and region.

Highlights from the 2001 North Carolina BRFSS survey results:

  • The number of respondents with "no current health insurance coverage" increased to 14 percent (up from 11 percent in 2000), ranging from 8 percent in Forsyth County to 19 percent in rural eastern North Carolina.

  • Prevalence of high blood pressure was 27 percent, up from 24 percent in 1999.

  • Wake and Mecklenburg counties had the lowest rates of high blood pressure while the rural counties in North Carolina had the highest.

  • Fewer people reported having been told that they had high cholesterol in 2001 (29%) compared to 1999 (31%).

  • About 9 percent of all adult North Carolinians and one-fourth of adults age 65 and over reported having had either a heart attack or stroke or having been diagnosed with coronary heart disease.

  • About 10 percent of adults reported having physician-diagnosed asthma.

  • The prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis was 23 percent. Arthritis prevalence ranged from 11 percent in Wake County to 30 percent in rural Western North Carolina.

  • About one-third of all North Carolinians had a flu shot in 2001; about two-thirds of adults age 65 and over had a flu shot.

  • The obesity rate among adults increased to 23 percent in 2001 from 22 percent in 2000.

  • One-fourth of adults reported smoking cigarettes.

  • Current smoking rates were the lowest in Durham County (18%) and the highest in Gaston County (34%). More people in rural areas reported smoking compared to urban areas.

  • About 42 percent of adults reported drinking alcoholic beverages in the past month.

  • Fewer people reported drinking alcoholic beverages in rural areas of North Carolina (33%) than in urban areas (about 50%).

  • One-quarter of adults reported no leisure time physical activity.

  • About 38 percent of males age 40 and over reported never having the prostate cancer screening test called PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen).

  • More than one-half of adults age 50 and over (52%) never had the colorectal cancer screening test called sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.

  • Nearly one-half of adults age 64 and under reported being tested for HIV. More adults in Guilford (71%) and Wake (67%) counties were tested for HIV compared to other counties.

  • About 7 percent of adults reported having physician-diagnosed diabetes, a prevalence that is increasing.

  • Nearly one-third of adults did not visit a dentist or dental clinic in the past year.

  • Fewer people in rural counties reported having dental insurance and having visited a dentist in the past year than in urban counties.

  • More than one in ten adults age 40 and older reported having been diagnosed with a cancer.

  • About 5 percent of adults reported receiving counseling or treatment for a substance abuse problem including alcohol.

  • One in five adults reported having ever used medicinal herbs primarily to maintain their health.

  • More than a quarter of adults reported having disabilities.

  • Nearly half of all pregnancies among women who gave birth within the last five years were unintended.

  • One in ten adult females in North Carolina reported that they have been forced by someone to have sex.

  • About 20 percent of adults reported being physically attacked.


Return to 2001 BRFSS Annual Results Table of Contents