Study: Ru­ral Amer­i­cans more likely to die from top 5 causes of death

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Ru­ral Amer­i­cans are more likely to die from heart dis­ease, can­cer and the three other lead­ing causes of death than their ur­ban coun­ter­parts, ac­cord­ing to a new study from the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion.

Those five top causes of death — which in­clude un­in­ten­tional in­jury, chronic lower res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease and stroke — ac­counted for 62 per­cent of the to­tal 1.6 mil­lion deaths Sig­na­ture Credit/Debit Card Num­ber in the United States in 2014. Among ru­ral Amer­i­cans, more than 70,000 of the deaths were po­ten­tially pre­ventable, the study found, in­clud­ing 25,000 from heart dis­ease and 19,000 from can­cer.

About 15 per­cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion lives in ru­ral ar­eas. These 46 mil­lion peo­ple tend to be older, poorer and sicker than ur­ban Amer­i­cans, with higher rates of cig­a­rette smok­ing, high blood pres­sure and obe­sity and lower rates of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. They also don’t use Se­cu­rity Code seat belts as much. They typ­i­cally have less ac­cess to health care and are less likely to have health in­sur­ance.

In­creas­ing death rates from heart dis­ease and stroke, diabetes, drug over­doses, ac­ci­dents and other con­di­tions caused the na­tion’s life ex­pectancy to de­cline in 2015 for the first time in more than two decades, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased last month by the Na­tional Cen­ter for Health Sta­tis­tics.

Cig­a­rette smok­ing re­mains Check/Money Or­der En­closed AMEX Visa Dis­cover MasterCard Exp. Date Richmond Times-Dis­patch Back Roads Book, 300 E. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23219 the lead­ing cause of pre­ventable dis­ease and death in the United States. Smok­ing preva­lence among adults is higher in ru­ral ar­eas and dif­fers markedly by re­gion.

Un­in­ten­tional in­juries, which in­clude over­doses from drugs, al­co­hol and other chem­i­cals, as well as from mo­tor ve­hi­cle crashes and other ac­ci­dents, were about 50 per­cent higher in ru­ral ar­eas. That was in part be­cause of greater risk of death from crashes and opi­oid over­doses.

Rates of opi­oid mis­use and over­dose death are among the high­est among ru­ral pop­u­la­tions. Ac­cess to treat­ment is of­ten de­layed be­cause emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices take longer to reach in­jured or poi­soned pa­tients in ru­ral ar­eas. Ru­ral ar­eas also have fewer trauma cen­ters with ad­vanced equip­ment and spe­cial­ized staff avail­able at any hour.

Ru­ral re­gions in the South­east and South­west have the high­est num­ber of po­ten­tially pre­ventable deaths. The South­east­ern states are Alabama, Florida, Ge­or­gia, Ken­tucky, Mis­sis­sippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Ten­nessee. The South­west­ern states are Ar­kan­sas, Louisiana, New Mex­ico, Ok­la­homa and Texas.

CDC of­fi­cials said the new in­for­ma­tion about ru­ral-ur­ban dis­par­i­ties could help health care providers in ru­ral ar­eas bet­ter ad­dress those gaps. Mea­sures could in­clude more com­pre­hen­sive health screen­ing, plus in­creased well­ness ef­forts.

By The Wash­ing­ton Post

On The Back Roads Again

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