People living in urban areas have no great advantage of better health facilities. People living in urban and rural areas are equally prone to heart disease according to a study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. The research was conducted by doctors of Women’s College Hospital in Ontario and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). The study revealed an astonishing fact that despite the lack of resources including hospitals, health care facilities and awareness, people living in rural areas are at no greater risk of suffering from heart disease than people living in urban areas. Overall health outcomes of patients living in urban and rural areas were similar after they left the hospital and place of living had no effect on the outcome.
“Research has long suggested people with heart disease in rural areas are at a disadvantage when it comes to access to health care and longevity,” said Dr Sacha Bhatia, lead researcher of the study and a cardiologist at Women’s College Hospital. “Our study shows once a patient leaves the hospital their overall health outcomes are similar regardless of where they live,” said Bhatia.
For the study researchers examined 38,000 people suffering from chronic ischemic heart disease living in either rural or urban areas. They noticed that people living in rural areas had lesser medical facilities and fewer hospital visits than those in urban areas. Most of them had no or very less awareness and did not checked their cholesterol and blood sugar levels regularly, the most key aspect for a patient with chronic ischemic heart disease. Due to lack of doctors and hospitals rural people are rely heavily on emergency ward for their treatment.
According to researchers similar death rate despite the lack of medical facilities is because of different life style of rural people, also they handle and care their disease differently.
“From our study, we know that people with heart disease in rural areas tend to rely heavily on emergency departments for their care because of a lack of outpatient access to family doctors and specialists,” said Bhatia. “Yet, despite an increase in emergency department admissions in rural areas, we didn’t see worse health outcomes for these individuals,” Bhatia said.