Patients in isolated rural areas have higher rates of death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease living in isolated rural areas “seem to be at greater risk” of death from COPD than those living in urban areas, even when “hospital rurality and volume” are taken into account, says a new study published in the latest issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers from Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center collected data from COPD patients at 129 veterans’ hospitals measuring first, 30-day mortality and then adusting for patient rurality, hospital volume, and hospital rurality. The results indicate “mortality was significantly elevated in patients living in isolated rural areas compared with those living in urban areas,” regardless of patient and hospital characteristics, reports Doctors Lounge, an online medical resource for physicians, students and allied clinical professionals. (Read more)
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