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Rural-Urban Geographic Health Disparities Persist for Chronic Disease

29 Sep 2022 12:15 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

Rural-urban geographic health disparities persist, with the latest data published in JAMA Network Open revealing that individuals living in rural areas are more likely to die from diabetes than those living in urban settings. [Patient Engagement HIT] 

Diabetes mortality is particularly higher among men living in the rural south, the researchers added.

The rural-urban divide in health outcomes is long documented. Individuals living in rural areas are more likely to face long travel times, have higher rates of chronic illness, and most recently are less likely to have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine and consequently see poorer outcomes from the illness.

This latest data adds that the disease burden of certain chronic illnesses, in this case diabetes, is also higher in rural settings. Looking at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (CDC WONDER) database from between January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2018, the researchers found higher diabetes mortality rates in rural settings than in urban ones.

The team stratified data by urbanization, gender, age, and religion, splitting urbanization further by region (Midwest, Northeast, South, or West).

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