North Carolina Child Health Report Card Highlights Link Between Poverty And Well-Being

North Carolina Child Health Report Card Highlights Link Between Poverty And Well-Being

4:33pm Feb 21, 2018
(Courtesy: NCIOM)

The North Carolina Child Health Report Card is out, and the state has received an F in the "housing and economic security" category.

The annual report is produced by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) in partnership with NC Child to be used as a health policy resource. This year's report looks at the most recent data available from 2016.

It looks at four main indicators of health: access to care, healthy births, secure homes and neighborhoods, and health risk factors.

Census data show nearly half of North Carolina children live in low-income or poor households, those with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Dr. Adam Zolotor with NCIOM says poverty impacts almost every aspect of health and well-being. Children from low-income households may have less access to fresh fruits and vegetables and are more likely to be exposed to environmental triggers such as pollution and allergens.   

“We know that in some children living in sub-standard housing, they have higher rates of asthma and higher rates of emergency department utilization for asthma exacerbations,” he says.

Zolotor adds that the report card also highlights racial and ethnic disparities when it comes to health outcomes, with black, Hispanic and Latinx children being more than twice as likely to live in poor or low-income homes.

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