Thursday, June 12, 2008

Rural Misses: Not as healthy as Mizzes, they say

Unmarried women living in rural areas rate their health status lower their married counterparts, and also report more instances of depression, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. "They suggest that primary care physicians should take a proactive role in addressing health concerns of single women," says Newswise, a research-reporting service.

“Being single may be associated with a greater degree of separation from usual health care, as many women gain insurance through a spouse or a former spouse. Lack of social support also may contribute to poor health among some single women,” said James Rohrer, Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic’s Department of Family Medicine and lead author of the study.

Rohrer said current economic difficulties may cause additional stress that can affect health. “Statistically, rural, unmarried women are more often economically depressed than their married counterparts,” he said. “If the economy worsens, we will see a significant impact on visits to primary care physicians and nurses. Medical providers are trained to focus on the biological and psychological. But economic causes of poor health? I don’t think that receives a lot of air time in medical school.” (Read more)

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