Deaths in Rural America

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Wyoming provides beautiful sunsets, pristine wildlife, and amazing mountain views. But according to the Center for Disease Control rural areas are not best place to live.

News 13s Justin Roth spoke to Casper area professionals to find why rural areas have higher death rates than urban areas.

Urban living and rural living are very different, but the difference could be life or death. Dr. Karl Radke is the Chief Medical Officer for the Community Health Center for Central Wyoming, he says, "Access to care, there are fewer doctors out in rural population zones so less chance for patients to make it to the appropriate physician on time. Also rates of smoking are higher and are associated with multiple different types of disease processes."

The five leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, and unintended injury. All have one common denominator.

"Number one is stopping smoking. If there's a common link between all the different disease processes that you see that the rural areas rate higher in its because of the rates of smoking."

480,000 die each year from smoking-related illnesses.

A statement from the Wyoming Department of Health says, "It's been shown time and again that people who want to quit smoking have a much higher chance for success if they have a plan that includes tools such as medication or nicotine replacement gum or patches"

And staying healthy isn't all about what you eat and don't eat.

"As far as the social aspect of it. Having like minded people around you to stay healthy your more likely to achieve that in an urban setting than a rural setting."

Keeping true to the balance of mind, body, and soul.

Center for Disease Control researchers say for every one person who dies from smoking related illnesses thirty more suffer one serious health problem.