Wanna Get Away??

If city living wears you down and you dream of moving out to the country – a new federal report might have you rethinking your dream. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study suggests Americans living in rural areas are more likely to die from the top 5 causes of death than their city counterparts.

The 5 leading causes of death are:

  • Heart disease,
  • Cancer,
  • Unintentional injury,
  • Chronic lower respiratory disease, and
  • Stroke

From Vox.com:

In addition to more rural Americans dying from the five leading causes of death in the US, a larger number of rural deaths are preventable, too. What the researchers found was that more than 70,000 deaths in rural areas could have been prevented with better public health resources and access to health care, including 25,000 deaths from heart disease and 19,000 from cancer.

Bloomerg.com added “For example, unintentional injury death rates are 50 percent higher in rural areas than urban areas, in part a result of more high-speed motor vehicle traffic-related deaths. But once a person is in an accident in a rural setting, they are also less likely to receive prompt medical attention. Geographical distances make it take ambulances longer to arrive; once they do, a trauma center is less likely be near.”

And the Washington Post wrote:

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 with lower rates of physical activity. They also don’t use seat belts as often. They typically have less access to health care and are less likely to have health insurance.

This is of particular concern in our state given the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 population numbers showing more than 650,000 Arizonans live in rural areas. To that end, the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) is working with its ‘Small Rural Hospitals Constituency Group‘ to better understand and help meet the needs of Arizona’s rural communities. In addition, AzHHA is reviewing the American Hospital Association’s ‘Vulnerable Community Report‘ to determine policy implications here in our state.

Finding new and innovative ways to address the health issues facing rural Arizona is an important part of our organizational goals. Share your thoughts on how we can work together to begin to change those national numbers and cut down on preventable deaths in rural communities. The healthier we all are, the sooner we can reach our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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