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Rural Americans at higher risk of preventable causes of death

Rural Americans are more likely to die from the five leading causes than people who live in the metropolitan area, according to new federal data offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The analysis shows that rural American tend to be older and sicker. 

In 2014, there were many potentially preventable deaths among rural Americans, including:

  • 25,000 from heart disease
  • 19,000 from cancer
  • 12,000 from accidental injuries
  • 11,000 from chronic lower respiratory disease
  • 4,000 from stroke

About 46 million Americans, 15 percent of the nation’s population, live in rural areas. Among the factors that might put rural residents at higher death risks might be higher rates of smoking, high blood pressure and obesity.

People living in rural areas get less leisure-time exercise and are less likely to use seat belts than people who live in urban regions, the study authors said.

The report concludes that people in non-metropolitan areas report poorer mental and physical health than those in metropolitan areas.

Alexa Stewart