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For Release: March 31, 2015

Media Contact: Amy McCauley, Outreach Manager, (828) 695-5818,


HICKORY, NC – Catawba County Public Health has released the 2014 State of the County’s Health (SOTCH) report, which notes cancer, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, and unintentional injuries as 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, which is a comprehensive overview of the county’s health status produced every four years (most recently in 2011).

Key findings in the 2014 SOTCH include the following:

  • Where Catawba County Is Faring Better: Five-year trend data show significant improvement of several health issues, including lower incidence of colon and prostate cancers and decreased death rates for cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.
  • Where Catawba County Is Faring Worse: Five-year trend data show increased death rates for homicide, suicide, and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.

Additional analysis and statistics are available in the full report, which can be accessed online at

The 2011 Community Health Assessment is also available on this site.

In addition, the SOTCH describes community progress made toward improving access to care, cancer, obesity, and substance abuse, which were named Catawba County health priorities for 2012 through 2015 during the 2011 Community Health Assessment process. This progress has included the introduction of several new community health initiatives and services by a variety of organizations.

Catawba County Public Health is currently working with community partners to produce the 2015 Catawba County Community Health Assessment, which will be released in March 2016.

Located off Fairgrove Church Road behind Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, N.C., Catawba County Public Health provides health and education services to eligible men, women, and children in the community. For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit