The National Center For Health Statistics

1534 Words Oct 1st, 2016 7 Pages
People living in rural areas generally suffer greater morbidity than their counterparts living in suburban and urban regions (Shi & Singh, 2015). These facts are generally consistent across age groups and do not appear to change, regardless of average rural community wealth (Cohen, Cook, Kelley, Foutz, & Sando, 2016). Rural residents tend to experience greater social and physical isolation, lack local secondary level providers and primary care services in sufficient quantities or within manageable travel distances (Cohen et al., 2016). According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, rural Americans: 1) Are older, poorer, and less healthy than non-rural residents; 2) Have a life expectancy 6 months shorter than non-rural counterparts with a widening disparity trend over time; 3) Experience more activity limitations from chronic conditions than people living in urban or suburban communities (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2014).
The National Center for Health Statistics classifies rural areas as counties with an urban population of 1-49,000. Though rural Americans comprise 17% of the US population, 65% of US counties are classified as rural. Rural regions have a reduced per capita supply of healthcare providers, including dentists. Hospitals in rural areas typically do not contain intensive care, psychiatric, skilled nursing, or rehabilitation units or offer hospice, home health, chemotherapy or drug/alcohol abuse care. Fifty-four or more rural…
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