CDC finds preventable deaths higher in rural areas

Potentially preventable deaths from the five leading causes are consistently higher in rural counties than in urban ones, according to a study released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The rural/urban gap in the percentages of preventable deaths widened from 2010 to 2017 for deaths from cancer, heart disease and chronic lower respiratory disease. “We are encouraged to find that preventable deaths from cancer have gone down overall, yet there is a persistent and striking gap between rural and urban Americans for this and other leading causes of death,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD. “There are proven strategies for reducing health risks like cigarette smoking and obesity and we need to redouble our prevention efforts to reach those living in rural areas, where risks tend to be higher.” (CDC news release, 11/7/19)