Disparities exist in the health of our community’s residents. Health disparities are differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions among various groups in any community.
These disparities are most evident in the community’s minority populations. For all causes of death, the mortality rate among Forsyth County minorities for the period 2001-2005 was 34% higher than the mortality rate for whites. The minority infant mortality rate in Forsyth County is more than 2.5 times the Caucasian rate. The premature mortality rate per 100,000 population (age <65) in 2008 was 197 for Caucasians and 343 for African-Americans. Across the nation there are sharply higher rates of overweight and obesity among African-American and Hispanic children and adolescents. These youth, therefore, suffer higher risk of developing chronic diseases. In North Carolina in 2008, 41% of African-American children 10-17 years were overweight or obese compared with 28% of white children; in 2009 42% of Hispanic children 2-18 years were overweight or obese compared with 30% for non-Hispanic children.