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State of Guilford County’s Health Report 2018 (Health Information)

Post Date:07/30/2019 11:41 AM

The Public Health Division of the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services is pleased to issue the State of the County’s Health Report (SOTCH) for 2018. The SOTCH Report provides information to community leaders, organizations and county residents on the county’s health status. The SOTCH Report also includes information on how Guilford County is responding to the priority health issues identified previous years’ Community Health Assessment: Healthy Eating and Active Living, Maternal and Child Health, and Behavioral Health, which includes both mental health and opioid dependence and overdose.

Research shows that an individual’s income, education and the conditions in the environment in which they live affect a wide range of health, functioning, quality-of-life outcomes and longevity.  Therefore, the priority health data below and within the SOTCH should be considered within the larger context of these social determinants of health.

 For example:

  • According to the County Health Rankings, urban counties with higher educational attainment and population income measures tend to rank higher as healthy counties.

  • Guilford County’s per capita income of $28,640 lags behind peer counties, Durham ($33,151), Mecklenburg ($35,669) and Wake ($37,315).

  • The percentage of Guilford County adults completing a Bachelor’s degree or higher falls below these same counties as well, at 34.9% compared to 47.3%, 44.1% and 51 % respectively.

  • Guilford County had about 14% of households with at least one of four housing problems: overcrowding, high housing costs, lack of kitchen facilities or lack of plumbing facilities (American Community Survey, 2013-2017).

 By some measures the state of Guilford County’s Health is improving:

  • Mortality rates from some chronic diseases, notably heart disease and lung cancer, are improving.  From 1998 to 2017, heart disease mortality rates have decreased from 220.3 to 157.7 per 100,00 population.  The lung cancer mortality rate declined from 58.7 to 43.5 per 100,000 population during the same period.

  • Teen pregnancy rates continue a steady downward trend, reaching a new low of 22.5 pregnancies per 1,000 females ages 15-19, declining by 60% from 56.8 in 2007.

  • 92% of county residents live near opportunities for physical activity, including parks and recreation facilities; placing Guilford County above the 90th percentile among US counties for opportunities for physical activity.

  • After several years of increases, opioid-related visits to hospital Emergency Departments (ED) went down from 390 opioid overdose visits in 2017 to 261 in 2018.


    Other measures show a need for improvement or cause for concern:

  • Many county residents continue to experience limited access to outlets for healthy foods. By one measure—the Food Environment Index—which incorporates food access along with food insecurity ranges from 0 (worst) to 10 (best).  In 2017, Guilford County was a 6.6, worse than Durham (6.8), Mecklenburg (7.3), Wake (7.9) and top US performers (8.7).

  • High rates of infant mortality continue to be a problem in the county, along with premature births and low birthweight births.

  • Significant racial and ethnic inequities persist across many health outcomes, from leading causes of death to birth outcomes and sexually transmitted diseases.


    Progress on Health Priorities:

  • Healthy Eating and Active Living:

    • Minority Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP), North Carolina’s designated name for the Diabetes Prevention Program, is a program uniquely designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent or delay Type 2 Diabetes for those at risk by helping them make modest lifestyle changes through a structured group program, led by a trained lay health facilitator (“Lifestyle Coach”).  Since 2016, six MDPP class series have been completed, four at Mount Zion Baptist Church, one at Collaborative Cottage Grove, and one at Guilford Child Development. Two classes are currently underway, one at Mount Zion and one at Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services. To date, MDPP has reached around 100 participants, well over the goal of 24 individuals annually. As a preventive measure to diabetes, nutritionists advise pre-diabetic patients to aim for a 5 to 7 percent reduction of their current body weight if they are overweight.  Average body weight reduction varied from group to group; the group with the highest average percentage of body weight reduction lost 6.1% of overall body weight.

  • Maternal and Child Health:

    • In 2018, the Adopt-A-Mom Program served 154 women through one of seven local private OB/GYN offices.  Without Public Health’s agreements with these practices, many of the clients may not have otherwise received prenatal care. Women who enrolled in the program received timely patient education, medical services and case management tailored to their needs.   The program data show that 98.5% of the babies in the program were born at a healthy birth weight (well above state and national averages). Rates of preterm delivery and cesarean section rates were also lower than state and national averages.

    • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorses Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) as a top tier contraceptive in terms of effectiveness, continuation and satisfaction. The Health Department modified their clinical services programs in Greensboro and in High Point to specifically focus on the health care needs of adolescents and teens age 19 and under.  The special clinic is called JustTEENS. Combined data at both JustTEENS sites show that the number of teens receiving LARCs increased from 76 and 65 respectively in 2016 to nearly 400 in 2018, a phenomenal increase.

  • Behavioral Health 

    • CURETriad is a community-based coalition that brings together community members and organizations combine efforts and resources to address addictions to opioids and other substances. Guilford County Solution to the Opioid Problem (GCSTOP) is a program housed at UNC Greensboro with the goal of reducing overdoses in Guilford County by 20% through increasing access to harm reduction strategies, increasing access and linkages to care services and building local capacity to respond to the opioid epidemic. From February to October 2018, GCSTOP distributed 836 Narcan® doses and 131,970 syringes for harm reduction, provided 89 referrals into treatment and had 149 successful reversals from possible death from overdoses.

 For more information on this report or other health statistics, contact Guilford County Public Health at 336-641-7777 or visit



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