People in Rural Areas Are Dying Earlier Than People in Urban Areas

Access to healthcare and city or suburban lifestyles seem to be tied to a longer life.
January 18, 2017, 5am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Kilmichael Hospital in Kilmichael, Mississippi received funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Community Facilities program.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Where you live plays a big part in your life expectancy. "Many studies have recently highlighted this growing divide between health outcomes in urban and rural America. But it’s increasingly true that, more than income, more than the frequency with which you exercise, the simple fact of where you live can have a huge impact on your health" according to a story from Sarah Frostenson in Vox.

Over the past 15 years, the rates of deaths from heart disease and cancer have slowed down as treatments improved. But, "[i]n rural areas, improvements are now slowing and even declining, widening the rural-urban health gap," Frostenson writes. "Most shockingly, rural Americans were 50 percent more likely to die from an unintentional injury than urban Americans during this 15-year period," she continues. There are many possible causes for the poor public health outcomes of rural areas, including the lack of health resources in sparsely populated areas. "Rural health clinics are far more likely to be understaffed (only 11 percent of all physicians choose to practice in rural areas), and they often lack subspecialty care, which hurts people who need specialized treatment," Frostenson writes.

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Published on Friday, January 13, 2017 in Vox
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