Catawba County News

State of the County Health Report Released

State of the County Health Report Released

April 09, 2018

HICKORY, NC – Catawba County Public Health released the 2017 State of the County’s Health (SOTCH) report, which notes cancer, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cerebrovascular disease (stroke) as among the leading causes of death in Catawba County.

The SOTCH tracks data for health issues affecting Catawba County residents and important health indicators related to illness, death, and high-risk behaviors. The report is a supplement to the Catawba County Community Health Assessment (CHA), which is a comprehensive overview of the county’s health status produced every four years (most recently in 2015).

Key findings in the 2017 SOTCH include the following:

  • We are continuing to see the impact of chronic disease on mortality and quality of life in Catawba County.
  • Hepatitis C is an emerging issue on the county, state and national levels.
  • The transformation of Catawba County Health partners to LiveWell Catawba gives the county a broader framework for creating a culture of wellness in Catawba County. LiveWell Catawba is making headway through the Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas initiative, LiveWell Schools, LiveWell Early Childhood, LiveWell Out of School Time, Exercise is Medicine, and Faithful Families.
  • Another advance is the Conover tobacco-free policy, which was enacted in August 2017, and prohibits smoking and the use of e-cigarettes in public places, including public buildings, parks and vehicles.
  • The Downtown Hickory Farmers Market will begin accepting SNAP/EBT benefits in 2018, enhancing healthy food access for families receiving SNAP/EBT.

The 2015 CHA found that physical inactivity, poor diet and tobacco use lead to serious diseases in our residents such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, lung disease, heart disease and stroke. These diseases account for more than half of all deaths in Catawba County.

“The SOTCH highlights what Catawba County is doing to improve our county’s health priorities,” said Doug Urland, Catawba County Public Health Director. “It gives us a snapshot of where we are, and a vision of where we want to be as a county. It also serves as an important resource for organizations and residents seeking more information about the health of our residents and how we are working together to address critical health issues.”