Monday, October 29, 2012

Deaths from COPD more common in those who live in rural areas; smoking may be to blame

Deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are more common in rural and poor areas, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report says many factors contribute to this trend, including higher smoking rates, lower air quality and limited access to health care.

Researchers analyzed Census Bureau data, identifying more than 900,000 deaths from COPD between 2000 and 2007. Of those, about 88 percent were people over 65 -- and rural areas had the highest number of COPD deaths. Smoking is the top risk factor for the disease, which the third leading cause of death in the United States. Study co-author James Holt told Health Magazine that "COPD patients, especially those in rural and poor areas, may benefit from additional case management and risk reduction." (Read more)

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