People who live in rural areas of the United States are more likely than urban residents to die prematurely from all of the five leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injury, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke.
CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion uses several approaches to help improve the health of rural residents. One approach is studying and reporting on rural health disparities and innovative programs to reduce those disparities.
CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has published a series of 13 articles on rural health disparities. Topics included leading causes of death, health behaviors, diabetes education programs, and cancer deaths. In conjunction with this research effort, CDC developed a rural health website to share study results and offer resources.
CDC also hosted rural stakeholders from around the country for a workshop titled “What Works for Rural: From Research to Reality” in December 2017. Ninety-four people from 40 organizations met to identify what tools, resources, and evidence can help states reduce the leading causes of death in rural communities, build relationships with others working in the field, and share resources that work in rural areas.
Other recent CDC publications on rural and urban health differences have included a variety of topics, such as arthritis symptoms, chronic pain, and oral health: