Preventable diseases are deadlier in rural America than in urban areas, a new CDC report says.
The big picture: More than 46 million Americans live in rural areas, and the system often works against them in nearly every dimension of care.
By the numbers: Percentages of preventable deaths in rural areas either mildly decreased between 2010-2017 or got worse, while urban counties saw significant decreases across the board.
- Rural Americans tend to be older and sicker, with higher rates of cigarette smoking, high blood pressure and obesity.
- Preventable deaths from cancer have gone down overall. Still, nearly two-thirds of deaths from unintentional injury in the most rural counties were potentially preventable in 2017.
Rural areas face access challenges, too, including a spate hospital closures and low retention of doctors.
Go deeper: The dire state of rural mental health care