Demographic, environmental, economic, social factors might be key to difference.
A new CDC study demonstrates that Americans living in rural areas are more likely to die from five leading causes than their urban counterparts.
In 2014, many deaths among rural Americans were potentially preventable, including:
- 25,000 from heart disease
- 19,000 from cancer
- 12,000 from unintentional injuries
- 11,000 from chronic lower respiratory disease
- 4,000 from stroke.
The percentages of deaths that were potentially preventable were higher in rural areas than in urban areas. The report and a companion commentary are part of a new rural health series in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
“This new study shows there is a striking gap in health between rural and urban Americans,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “To close this gap, we are working to better understand and address the health threats that put rural Americans at increased risk of early death.”
- Prevalence, risk factors, and clinical outcomes of atopic and nonatopic asthma among rural children.
- Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Up in Rural-Born Infants
- A multicomponent quality improvement intervention to improve blood pressure and reduce racial disparities in rural primary care practices.
- Sun protection to improve vaccine effectiveness in children in a high ambient ultraviolet radiation and rural environment: an intervention study.
Some 46 million Americans — 15 percent of the U.S. population — currently live in rural areas. Several demographic, environmental, economic, and social factors might put rural residents at higher risk of death from these public health conditions. Residents of rural areas in the United States tend to be older and sicker than their urban counterparts. They have higher rates of cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity. Rural residents report less leisure-time physical activity and lower seatbelt use than their urban counterparts. They also have higher rates of poverty, less access to healthcare, and are less likely to have health insurance.