WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Adults not living in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) are more likely to have reduced access to or use of health care services, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in the National Health Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Emily P. Terlizzi, M.P.H., and Robin A. Cohen, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, used data from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey to examine select measures of health care access, utilization, and financial burden by MSA status among adults aged 18 to 64 years. Estimates were presented for adults living in a large MSA (population of at least 1 million), those living in a small MSA (population less than 1 million), and those not living in an MSA.

The researchers found that compared with those in more populous areas, adults not living in an MSA generally had reduced access to or use of health care and a higher financial burden associated with their care in 2017. For the measures examined, adults not living in MSAs were more likely to have a usual place to go for care after controlling for selected sociodemographic and health characteristics, but they were less likely to have financial burden associated with their care relative to those in small or large MSAs.

“The differences in the measures examined may be due to differential distributions of poverty levels, insurance coverage status, or other sociodemographic or health characteristics between the MSA status categories,” the authors write.

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