Americans in rural areas more likely to die from leading causes of death: CDC

Americans in rural areas more likely to die from leading causes of death: CDC

People living in rural areas of the United States are more likely to die from five leading causes of death than those who live in urban areas, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) pointed out in its latest report.

The federal agency conducted an analysis of national death rates from 1999 to 2014, and found that nonmetropolitan or rural areas witnessed higher age-adjusted death rates in addition to excess deaths than urban areas. Excess deaths refer to additional deaths that occur under age 80 than experts would have expected based on national benchmarks.

The five leading causes of death were heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke. These causes collectively accounted for nearly 62 per cent of the total deaths in 2014. Overall, nearly 1, 600, 00 people died.

The researchers also found that in rural areas, nearly half of deaths from accidental injury and chronic lower respiratory disease were excess deaths as compared with 39 per cent and 31 per cent in metropolitan areas.

Commenting on the data, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said, "This new study shows there is a striking gap in health between rural and urban Americans. 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."

Nearly 46 million Americans or 15 per cent of the U.S. population, live in rural areas. The researchers noted that demographic, economic and social factors might be putting rural residents at higher risk of death. For instance, rural residents tend to be older and sicker than their urban counterparts.


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