Recent Release: Report Shows Suburbanites Fare Better in Key Health Indicators

Article excerpt

A report released in September shows Americans who live in the suburbs fare significantly better in many key health measures than their counterparts who live in the most rural and urban areas.

The 25th annual statistical report on the Nation's health is the first to look at health status relative to communities' level of urbanization.

People who live in the most rural and most urban areas have higher mortality rates for working-age adults than suburban residents, the report found. Those who live in the suburbs of large metropolitan areas have the lowest infant mortality rates and are more likely to have health insurance and healthy lifestyles. These variations also frequently track other demographic factors, such as income and race.

The report, Health, United States, 2001, with Urban and Rural Health Chartbook, documents differences in a wide-ranging set of health characteristics for people residing in communities from the most rural to the most urban.

The chartbook presents detailed analysis of population characteristics, health risk factors, health status indicators, and health care access measures for residents of counties grouped by five urbanization levels. It also examines patterns by region of the country.

Overall, the annual report shows that Americans are healthier today than 25 years ago--with longer life expectancy, better infant survival, fewer smokers, less hypertension, and lower cholesterol levels. …