Toronto - Those Canadians who live in far-flung areas run a grave risk of dying prematurely, as compared to the city-dwellers, primarily due to an increase in the rates of heart disease, diabetes and accidental injury, as stated by a report released by The Canadian Institute for Health Information.
According to the report the annual death rate per 100,000 population had increased by 14 per cent in the god-forsaken areas of rural Canada, in striking comparison with the urban areas.
Marie DesMeules of the Public Health Agency of Canada, said,"The key results point to rural Canadians being slightly less healthy than urban Canadians, and that's reflected in a higher mortality rate. Higher overall mortality rates among rural communities seem to be driven by higher death rates from causes such as circulatory diseases and injuries. Our analysis shows that risk factors such as smoking and obesity are reported more frequently among rural than urban residents, and this may contribute to the higher risk of dying prematurely from circulatory disease among rural and remote residents." The evident differences in the urban-rural death rates were observed amongst the younger lot. The Canadians who are below 45 years of age ran a 30% risk of dying early. The national suicide rate as reported stood at five deaths per 100,000 for those between the ages of five and 19.
Carole Brule of CIHI's Canadian Population Health Initiative said, "Canadians in general have a high standard of living when we compare it to other countries. But what (the report is) saying is that perhaps some groups experience better or worse health status and health risks. So it gives us a real starting point to look at rural health issues. It's a place for (health planners) to start to say, 'OK, so if there are some differences, what are they, what's driving them and do rural residents have special needs?"
In totality, the report was not a grim portrayal of rural health in Canada.