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Fast Facts

Each year since 1984, the West Virginia Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System has measured a range of risk factors that can affect our health. This report presents state survey results for the year 2015 as well as county data combined for the latest available five years (2011 through 2015).
The survey is conducted by telephone and represents a collaborative effort between the West Virginia Health Statistics Center (WVHSC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. Standardized survey methods are provided by the CDC. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories now participate in the system, known as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).
The information in this document serves as a resource for governments, business leaders, schools, and community groups, all of which are helping to shape the health of West Virginia.  
Health Status
  • West Virginia had the highest prevalence in the nation of adults reporting fair or poor health (25.9%).
  • Approximately 18.6% reported poor physical health for at least 14 days in the past 30 days
  • 15.6% reported poor mental health at least 14 days in the past 30 days.
Prediabetes
  • Prevalence of prediabetes – 9.7% (over 1 in 11 or about 119,848 adults)
  • Prevalence of high blood pressure among those with prediabetes – 64.0%
  • Prevalence of overweight or obese among those with prediabetes – 83.1%
  • Prevalence of physical inactivity among those with prediabetes – 35.6%

Weight Status

  • The prevalence of obesity in West Virginia was 35.6%, the fourth highest in the nation.
  • More than two-thirds (71.1%) of West Virginia adults were either overweight or obese, highest in the U.S.

​​Diabetes

  • More than 1 in 7 West Virginia adults had diabetes (14.5%) which ranked West Virginia the second highest nationally.

Arthritis*

  • More than 1 in 3 West Virginia adults had arthritis (36.2%) which ranked West Virginia highest in the nation.
  • The prevalence of arthritis was significantly higher among women than men.
  • Arthritis prevalence was highest among those with less than a high school education and those with an annual household income of less than $15,000.
  • The prevalence of arthritis was highest in Logan, Marshall, McDowell, Mingo, Nicholas and Wyoming counties.
  • Over half of West Virginians with arthritis reported being limited due to arthritis (55.2%) which ranked West Virginia 6th highest in the nation.
  • Over a third of West Virginians with arthritis reported that arthritis affected work (38.9%) which ranked West Virginia 12th highest in the nation.
  • Approximately a quarter of West Virginians with arthritis reported that arthritis affected social activities (25.2%) which ranked West Virginia 8th highest in the nation.

*2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Cancer*

  • Approximately 6.8% of West Virginia adults had skin cancer and 7.3% had some other type of cancer.
  • About 1 in 8 West Virginia adults are cancer survivors (13.0%) which ranked West Virginia the 10th highest for overall cancer prevalence.
  • Cancer prevalence was significantly higher among females than males.
  • Over one-fourth of West Virginia seniors had cancer during their lifetime (30.4%).
*2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
 

Cardiovascular Disease

  • The overall cardiovascular disease prevalence was highest in the nation at 14.0%
  • Ever had a stroke 4.7%
  • WV had the highest prevalence of high blood pressure in the nation at 42.7%

 Nutrition

  • 91.7% consume fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis in the past month
Physical Activity
  • Almost one-third of West Virginia adults (31.4%) participate in no leisure-time physical activity or exercise which ranked West Virginia 9th highest in the nation.
  • The prevalence of physical inactivity was highest in Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mingo, and Wyoming counties.
  • More than half (52.8%) of West Virginians had less than the recommended 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week.
  • Only 12.7% of West Virginians met both the aerobic and muscle strengthening physical activity guidelines, while nearly half (46.2%) did not meet either aerobic or muscle strengthening guidelines.
​ Respiratory Diseases
  • Approximately 13.6% of West Virginia adults have ever been diagnosed with asthma and 9.0% of West Virginia adults currently had asthma.
  • Women had significantly higher prevalence of both lifetime and current asthma than men.
  • The prevalence of both lifetime asthma and current asthma was highest among those without a high school diploma and those with an annual household income of less than $15,000.
  • The prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD in West Virginia was 10.6%, the 2nd highest in the nation.
  • The prevalence of COPD was highest among adults aged 65 and older, those without a high school diploma and those with an annual household income of less than $15,000.

Hypertension

  • Over 40% of West Virginia adults have been told by a health care professional that they have hypertension which ranked second highest nationally.
  • More than three-fourths (80.6%) of those with hypertension are taking medication for it.
  • The prevalence of hypertension was significantly higher in Mingo, Putnam, Taylor and Wayne counties than in the rest of the state.

 

Cholesterol
  • Approximately eight out of 10 adults (82.4%) have ever had their cholesterol checked.
  • More than three-fourths (78.7%) had their cholesterol checked in the past five years.
  • More than 40% of West Virginia adults who had their cholesterol checked were told they have high cholesterol.
  • The prevalence of high cholesterol was highest among those with less than a high school education (53.5%) and annual household income of less than $15,000 (53.5%).
Health Promotion and Chronic Disease
350 Capitol Street, Room 514  Charleston, WV 25301-3715
Ph: (304) 356-4193 Fx: (304) 558-1553

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