State of the County Health (SOTCH) Report

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Person County Health Department has released the 2019 State of the County Health (SOTCH) Report. This report can be accessed by going to the Person County Government website, finding the Health Department under “Departments and Services,” and using the “Health Data/Community Resources” link. Hard copies are available upon request by calling 336-597-2204. The SOTCH Report is a brief document that is produced by Person County Health Department in the interim years between Community Health Assessments (CHA). This report is primarily based on the calendar year 2019; therefore, it will not reflect data and information related to COVID-19.

The 2019 SOTCH Report compares the most current data available with data cited in the latest CHA. Data sources include the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics as well as some local data collected by Person County Health Department. The most recent data for leading causes of death, from the aggregate period of 2014-2018, revealed that the ten leading causes of death for the county were (1) cancer, (2) heart disease, (3) chronic lower respiratory disease, (4) all other unintentional injury, (5) stroke, (6) diabetes, (7) Alzheimer’s disease, (8) unintentional motor vehicle injury, (9) kidney disease, and (10) pneumonia/influenza. Person County’s death rates for cancer, stroke, unintentional motor vehicle injury, and pneumonia/influenza decreased in 2014-2018 when compared to comparable county rates for 2012-2016. Other data in the report showed that the county’s infant death rate had increased from 7.4 (2012-2016) to 10.1 (2014-2018). Single year data is used to show the pregnancy rate for females ages 15-19, which had decreased from 42.9 in 2016 to 34.2 in 2018.

In this report, communicable diseases are classified as foodborne illnesses, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and general communicable diseases. In 2019, the overall cases of communicable diseases had decreased to 265 cases from 318 cases in 2017 (the last reported year in the CHA). STIs continue to be the most common type of communicable disease in Person County.

The SOTCH Report reflects limited data on diabetes and overweight/obesity. It also highlights how priority health issues in the county were addressed in 2019. Information is provided about emerging public health issues last year as well as changes that had the potential to affect the health of Personians. For the full report and information on local, state, or national health data; health and community resources; public health services and programs; or if you would like to get involved with helping to address county health priorities, contact the Health Department at 336-597-2204.