4 Notable Health Statistics in Alabama

To comprehend any health statistics, you’ll need demographic information and information about the state’s economic health.

The impact of population growth on overall healthcare and long-term health planning is significant. Economic health significantly affects healthcare spending, medical insurance, healthcare access, and community health.

As of 2020, Alabama’s population was 5,024,279, with the following demographics accounting for the majority:

  • White 61.6%
  • African or African American 12.4%
  • Hispanic 18.7%
  • Asian 6%
  • American Indian 1%

9% of Alabama’s total population was uninsured in 2020, while employers covered 48.8 %. 
National Health Statistics Reports 

According to a recent US News analysis, Alabama ranks 45th in healthcare services. Here are some reasons for this position:

  • Since 2011, twelve hospitals have closed, with 75% running in the red.
  • Alabama’s Medicaid program is one of the most restricted in the country.
  • Many uninsured patients seek treatment in hospital emergency rooms, leading to increased wait times for care and raising the cost of healthcare for everyone.

Overview of Health in Alabama

Community hospitals include all non-federal, short-term general, and other special hospitals. Alabama has 133 hospitals, 44 of which are government hospitals and 62 of which are private hospitals. Of these hospitals, 92 have helicopter landing facilities.

Alabama’s vital statistics for 2019 were as follows:

Event Number
Total live births 58,615
Deaths 54,109
Infants died as newborns 243
Infants died after birth 206
Fetal deaths 525

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected data on the health facilities available in Alabama’s rural areas in April 2020, given that 43.6% of the state’s population lives in rural areas. These were the findings:

  • 5 critical access hospitals
  • 138 rural health clinics
  • 111 federally qualified health centers
  • 49 short-term hospitals
two surgeons operating on a patient
Source: pixabay.com

Rural residents’ access to healthcare was improved by providing essential services at reasonable prices.

“…It’s becoming impossible for hospitals, rural hospitals, in particular, to continue to provide uncompensated care without having devastating financial repercussions,”
Danne Howard, Alabama Hospital Association(AHA)

Health Statistics

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average life expectancy in Alabama in 2018 was 75.1 years.

Although this seems like a high number, Alabama is below the national average of 78.7 years. It also has the third-lowest life expectancy in the US.

Because 9% of the population in Alabama is uninsured, this affects the state’s overall health statistics since the uninsured do not visit the doctor. This also results in a high death rate.

Leading causes of death in Alabama in 2019 were:

Causes Number
Heart disease 13,110
Cancer 10,410
Chronic lower respiratory diseases 3,484
Stroke 2,931
Diabetes 1,173
Kidney disease 980

Some people, whether or not insured, avoid going to the doctor. As a result, they become unwell, which can be fatal. These include lifestyle diseases and illnesses that could have been treated or reversed if detected early enough. Such diseases include:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular and stroke


graph of adults with a BMI of 30.0 or higher
Source: americashealthrankings.org

A person with a body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or higher is considered obese and is at a higher risk of lifestyle diseases. 

These are the current obesity statistics in Alabama:

  • 36.2% of females and 36.0% of males 
  • 34.6% of people aged 18 to 44
  • 41.3% of people between the age of 45-64
  • 31.3% of people over 65 years 

Because they engage in little to no physical exercise while consuming an unhealthy diet, obese people are more prone to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer-related premature death, and other chronic illnesses.

Obesity is one of the leading causes of gallbladder disease, which often requires gallbladder surgery.

People who cannot lose weight despite making lifestyle and dietary changes often end up needing bariatric surgery to save their lives.

Most patients, however, cannot afford this type of metabolic surgery. Evaltio has created a database with the hospitals that offer bariatric surgery. Our database includes a comparison of the cost to assist patients and the costs incurred during this surgery.

Cardiovascular and Stroke

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Alabama, and it is a severe health condition that can lead to death or disability.

Because most people don’t like screening for heart disease regularly, it’s often only discovered once it’s causing major health problems.

Some cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and high cholesterol, can be treated if detected early. Some methods of treating heart disease include dietary and exercise changes.

Obesity and lack of physical activity are linked to cardiovascular disease and stroke. 

There has been a significant increase in inactivity because most people commute by car and many now work from home.

A stroke is an unexpected problem in the brain caused by inadequate blood supply. Many risk factors, including high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and family history, can cause a stroke to occur.

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and quitting smoking can improve mental and physical health and lower the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases.

Heart disease and stroke are prevalent in Alabama, as evidenced by the following statistics:

  • Since 1926, cardiovascular disease has been the primary cause of death in Alabama.
  • Males in Alabama have a 1.5X higher mortality rate from heart disease than females.
  • 10.6% of African Americans and 13.5% of Caucasians suffer from cardiovascular disease.
  • 4.05% of Alabama Medicare recipients have had a stroke in the last year, 3.3% of people aged 18 to 44 have heart disease, and 27.5% of people over 65 have heart disease.

Patients require fair access to health care and lifestyle changes to combat this death rate.

Patients with coronary heart disease may require stent replacement procedures, such as balloon angioplasty with stents.

Compare costs on our platform, Evaltio, to get all the information you need about which hospital has quality, affordable services and post-surgery care.

This will save you time and the headaches that come with walking into a hospital without knowing whether they perform the surgery you require.


graph depicting the percentage of adults who have diabetes
Source: americashealthrankings.org

Diabetes ranked as Alabama’s ninth most recent severe health concern. Given these facts, it is rapidly escalating into an epidemic:

  • Diabetes prevalence increased by 19% between 2011 and 2019, from 11.8 to 14.0% of adults.
  • 119,000 people in Alabama have diabetes but are unaware of it.
  • Prediabetes affects 34.6% of the adult population.
  • Diabetes is diagnosed in approximately 34,668 adults in Alabama each year.

People with diabetes, particularly type 2, are at risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, premature death, chronic kidney disease, and frequent mental and physical distress.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder caused by the body’s inability to produce enough insulin (“insulin resistance”) or effectively use the insulin it produces.

Surgical procedures may treat type 2 diabetes, especially in patients who cannot control their blood sugar levels despite lifestyle, medication, and dietary changes.

Some surgical procedures include bariatric surgery, also known as metabolic surgery.

Metabolic surgery may aid in the treatment of metabolic disorders such as hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure, and sleep disorders. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is the most common type of metabolic surgery.

These procedures are costly. In most cases, depending on the type of surgery, it can cost up to $25,000.

Let us help you with our services. Evaltio can help you determine which hospital can provide the procedure you need at an affordable price. We do this by comparing costs, such as those incurred by surgery and hospital fees.


Cancer has claimed many lives across the country, not just in Alabama.

Cancer affects women at a higher rate than men. Breast cancer accounts for 30% of all cancer cases in women, while prostate cancer accounts for 21% of all cancer cases in men.

These are the statistics for cancer diagnoses in Alabama in 2020:

  • 8.6% females and 6.3% males
  • 1.4% of people between the ages of 18 and 44
  • 8.0% between the age of 45–64
  • 18.7% over 65 years 
  • 8.5% of white people and 5.8% of Africans and African Americans

While cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, changing your lifestyle habits, such as stopping smoking, increasing physical activity, and reducing alcohol use, can help lower your risk of becoming ill.

Notably, smoking is responsible for 30% of cancer fatalities in the United States.

Health facilities have taken measures to help reduce cancer risk and detect it early on. 

One such measure is vaccination, like the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. According to the CDC, HPV screening and vaccination can prevent up to 93% of cervical cancers when detected at its earliest invasive stage.

Another precautionary measure is routine screening for breast, colon, and prostate cancer, which can help detect cancer in its early stages.

When cancer is detected, whether or not in its early stages, treatment options such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or immunotherapy may leave a person immunocompromised.

When cancer is discovered, health care personnel may use several procedures combined with other cancer treatments to make the outcome more successful.

The most common cancer operations include the following:

  • Curative surgery removes cancer-causing tumors or growth from an organ in your body.
  • Preventive surgery removes tissue that looks like it could develop into cancer.
  • Diagnostic surgery determines whether cells or tissue are cancerous.
  • Staging surgery is a more precise type of surgery that mainly uses laparoscopy to detect the extent to which cancer has progressed throughout a patient’s body.
  • Restorative surgery enhances the appearance or function of a patient’s organ as a follow-up to prior surgeries. For example, after being diagnosed with breast cancer and following curative surgery to remove the malignant tissues in her breast, a woman may undergo breast reconstruction surgery to restore the form of her damaged breast.

Cancer surgery and treatment are becoming exceedingly costly.

Most patients are uninformed and perplexed by the expenses of delivering care, hidden beneath layers of jargon and detailed bookkeeping. Questions, like how much a particular operation or treatment could cost, persist in their thoughts.

By analyzing prices, including surgery costs and hospital fees, Evaltio helps you find the hospital that can perform the operation you need at an acceptable price.

Over to You

Now that you have all of the information, you can choose which hospital to have your operation at.

As a patient, you can stop worrying about cost comparisons since Evaltio will do the work for you.

We’ve created a database of healthcare cost-related data at Evaltio, including what percentage of the cost Medicare will cover.
Click here to access our services.

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