Risk of developing heart failure much higher in rural areas vs. urban
Large NIH-supported study showed that rural-dwelling Black men are at greatest risk
Adults living in rural areas of the United States have a 19% higher risk of developing heart failure compared to their urban counterparts, and Black men living in rural areas have an especially higher risk — 34%, according to a large observational study supported by the National Institutes of Health.
The study, one of the first to look at the link between living in rural America and first-time cases of heart failure, underscores the importance of developing more customized approaches to heart failure prevention among rural residents, particularly Black men. The study was largely funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of NIH, and the findings, produced in collaboration with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, publish today in JAMA Cardiology.
“We did not expect to find a difference of this magnitude in heart failure among rural communities compared to urban communities, especially among rural-dwelling Black men,” said Véronique L. Roger, M.D., M.P.H., the study’s corresponding author and a senior investigator with the Epidemiology and Community Health Branch in NHLBI’s Division of Intramural Research. “This study makes it clear that we need tools or interventions specifically designed to prevent heart failure in rural populations, particularly among Black men living in these areas.”
Study co-author Sarah Turecamo, a fourth-year medical student at New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York City, and part of the NIH Medical Research Scholars Program, agreed. “It is much easier to prevent heart failure than to reduce its mortality once you have it,” Turecamo said.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, January 25, 2023