South Carolina

Please be sure to read the data notes & limitations page. This explains many aspects of these comments, including how only changes over time can be discussed as statistically significant, and why the comparisons with national rates discuss data for selected subgroups.

Overview of Findings

Findings for South Carolina were mixed. Objectives showing improvement included overall mortality for younger and older adolescents, suicide mortality, safety belt use, riding with a driver who had been drinking, binge drinking, marijuana use, and tobacco use. However, rate of motor vehicle crash mortality, physical fighting, weapon carrying, suicide attempts requiring medical attention, sexual experience, current sexual activity, and condom use all showed little or no improvement from baseline.  Rates of overall mortality among young adults and homicide mortality increased.

In 2009, rates for most objectives in South Carolina compared unfavorably to or matched national rates. Only the South Carolina suicide rate compared favorably to the national rate. Rates of safety belt use, riding with a driver who had been drinking, condom use, and tobacco use all matched the national rate. Rates of several objectives compared unfavorably to national rates, including overall mortality, motor vehicle crash mortality, homicide, physical fighting, weapon carrying, suicide attempts requiring medical attention, sexual experience, and current sexual activity.

Highlights of Findings by Objective

Jump To: Mortality; Unintentional Injury; Violence; Substance Use and Mental Health; Reproductive Health; Chronic Disease Prevention

Mortality

Overall mortality decreased slightly among younger and older adolescents, but increased among young adults. There were some variations among subgroups, including a sizable increase in mortality among Black male older adolescents, and a large decrease among Black male young adults. In 2007, males had higher rates than females across all three age groups. Among younger and older adolescents, Blacks had higher rates than Whites. Among young adults, Hispanics had by far the highest rate, followed by Blacks, then Whites. Among male young adults this difference was even more pronounced: the rate for Hispanic males was more than twice the rate for Blacks and nearly three times the rate for Whites.

Comparison with national data. As in South Carolina, national mortality rates decreased for younger and older adolescents, and increased among young adults. Also similar to South Carolina, rates among Black young adults decreased. South Carolina’s increase in mortality for older adolescent Black males contrasts with a decline for that group nationally. The final rates at the state level were higher than those at the national level, overall and for most subgroups. The South Carolina rate for Hispanic young adult males was three times the rate for that group nationally. The national gender pattern matched the pattern noted for South Carolina.  Also similar to North Carolina, Blacks had higher rates than Whites among younger and older adolescents nationally. Among young adults, however, Hispanics had a higher rate than Blacks nationally, the reverse of the pattern noted for South Carolina.

Unintentional Injury

(motor vehicle crashes, safety belt use, & riding with a driver who has been drinking alcohol)

Please note the data for safety belt use are presented as “not wearing safety belt,” the inverse of the objective. This text describes safety belt use.

 

Adolescent mortality in South Carolina due to motor vehicle crashes (MVC) was flat overall from baseline, with an decrease among older adolescents largely offset by an increase among young adults. The rate for Blacks decreased. In 2007, males had nearly three times the rate of females. Hispanics had by far the highest MVC mortality rate, followed by Whites, then Blacks.

Comparison with national data. The national rate for adolescent MVC mortality was flat overall, as in South Carolina. The 2007 MVC mortality rate for South Carolina was substantially higher than the national rate overall; the South Carolina rate for Hispanics was nearly five times the national rate for Hispanics. The national gender pattern matched the pattern noted for South Carolina. Nationally, Whites had a slightly higher rate than Hispanics; this stands in contrast to the much larger rate for Hispanics noted in South Carolina.

Rates of safety belt use in South Carolina increased significantly from baseline, with large increases across all subgroups. In 2009, females had higher rates than males and Whites had a slightly higher rate than Blacks.

Comparison with national data. National rates of safety belt use also increased from baseline, overall and for most subgroups. In 2009, the overall rate of safety belt use in South Carolina roughly matched the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns matched the patterns noted for South Carolina.

Rates of adolescents in South Carolina who reported riding with a driver who had been drinking declined from baseline overall and among most subgroups. There was a particularly large decrease among Black males. In 2009, gender and racial/ethnic differences were very small.

Comparison with national data. The national overall rate of adolescents riding with a driver who had been drinking also declined from baseline, overall and for most subgroups. In 2009, the rate for South Carolina adolescents roughly matched the national rate for this behavior. Similar to South Carolina, national gender and racial/ethnic differences were fairly small.

Violence

(homicide, physical fighting, weapon carrying)

The rate of adolescent homicide mortality in South Carolina increased from baseline among older adolescents. Rates for subgroups were based on less than 20 deaths and thus were unsuitable for analysis.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of homicide mortality for older adolescents was flat from baseline, in contrast to an increase in South Carolina. In 2007, the South Carolina rate was slightly higher than the national rate for older adolescents.

The overall South Carolina rate of physical fighting did not change significantly from baseline. The rate for Blacks increased significantly for males and females, with an especially large increase among Black males. In 2009, males had much higher rates than females and Blacks had much higher rates than Whites.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of physical fighting decreased from baseline, in contrast to no significant change in South Carolina. The national rate for Blacks did not change significantly, in contrast to the increase for that group in South Carolina. In 2009, the rate for South Carolina was higher than the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns matched the patterns noted for South Carolina.

South Carolina rates of weapon carrying were flat from baseline. In 2009, the rate of weapon carrying among males was more than three times the rate for females. Whites had a higher rate than Blacks.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of weapon carrying was also flat from baseline. In 2009, the rate of weapon carrying for South Carolina was slightly higher than the national rate; the rate for White males in South Carolina was much higher than the national rate for that group. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns matched the patterns noted for South Carolina.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

(binge drinking, marijuana use, suicide, suicide attempts requiring medical attention)

The overall rate of binge drinking in South Carolina decreased considerably from baseline, with a particularly large decrease among Black males. The rate for females was flat. In 2009, males had a slightly higher rate of binge drinking than females. The overall rate for Whites was more than three times the rate for Blacks.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of adolescent binge drinking was flat from baseline in contrast with a large decrease in South Carolina. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns roughly matched the patterns noted for South Carolina.

The overall rate of marijuana use in South Carolina decreased slightly from baseline. In  2009, males had higher rates than females. The rate for Blacks was just slightly higher than the rate for Whites.

Comparison with national data. National rates of marijuana use declined slightly from baseline, similar to South Carolina. The national gender patterns roughly matched the pattern noted for South Carolina. As in South Carolina, the national racial/ethnic difference was small; however, Whites had slightly higher rates than Blacks, the reverse of the pattern noted in South Carolina.

Data suggest a substantial decrease in suicide mortality from baseline in South Carolina among older adolescents, including White male older adolescents. Data for all other groups were based on fewer than 20 deaths and were thus unsuitable for analysis.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of older adolescent suicide mortality was flat from baseline in contrast a decline in the South Carolina rate for that group. The final rate for suicide mortality among older adolescents in South Carolina appears to be smaller than the national rate for that group.

The rate of adolescent suicide attempts in South Carolina requiring medical attention was flat from baseline, overall and for most subgroups. In 2009, males had a slightly higher rate than females. The rate for Blacks matched the rate for Whites.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of adolescent suicide attempts requiring medical attention decreased slightly from baseline. In 2009, the rate for South Carolina was higher than the national rate. Nationally, the rate for females was slightly higher than the rate for males, the reverse of the pattern noted for South Carolina. The national rate for Blacks was slightly higher than the rate for Whites, in contrast to matching rates in South Carolina.

 

Reproductive Health

(sexual inexperience, no current sexual activity, condom use)

Please note, for the first two objectives, the text and tables present findings about adolescents who are sexually experienced and currently sexually active, the inverse of the actual objective. For the third objective, the table presents findings for lack of condom use, the inverse of the objective. The text describes condom use. (See Data Notes & Limitations).

The overall rate of South Carolina adolescents having engaged in sexual intercourse did not change significantly from baseline. In 2009, the rate for males was higher than for females. Blacks had a higher rate than Whites.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of sexually experienced adolescents also did not change significantly from baseline. In 2009, the overall rate of sexual experience in South Carolina was higher than the national rate. Males and females had matching rates nationally, in contrast to higher rates among males in South Carolina. The national racial/ethnic pattern matched the pattern noted for South Carolina.

The rate of sexually active adolescents in South Carolina reporting current sexual activity was flat from baseline. In 2009, males had a slightly higher rate than females. Blacks had a higher rate than Whites.

Comparison with national data. The national rate of currently sexually active adolescents was also flat from baseline. In 2009, the overall rate of this behavior in South Carolina was slightly higher than the national rate. Nationally, females had a higher rate than males, the reverse of the pattern in South Carolina. The national racial/ethnic pattern matched the pattern noted in South Carolina.

Rates of adolescent condom use in South Carolina were flat from baseline. In 2009, males had a higher rate of condom use than females. Blacks had a higher rate than Whites.

Comparison with national data. National rates of condom use were also flat from baseline. In 2009, the South Carolina rate of condom use matched the national rate overall. The South Carolina rate for Blacks was higher than the rate for Blacks nationally and the South Carolina rate for Whites was lower than the national rate for Whites. The national gender pattern matched the pattern noted for South Carolina. Nationally, Blacks and Whites had roughly matching rates, in contrast higher rates among Blacks in South Carolina.

Chronic Disease Prevention

(tobacco use)

Tobacco use among adolescents in South Carolina decreased substantially from baseline, with particularly large decreases for White males and females. In 2009, males had a higher rate of tobacco use than females; Whites had a higher rate than Blacks.

Comparison with national data. National rates of tobacco use among adolescents also decreased considerably from baseline. In 2009, the rate for South Carolina roughly matched the national rate. The national gender and racial/ethnic patterns matched the patterns noted for South Carolina.

Additional data may be available at: http://www.scdhec.gov/data-statistics.htm