SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – People in eastern Washington die more frequently from cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and other common causes of death than Westerners, according to researchers from Washington State University's Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.
The reasons for this could be poverty and less access to health care, the report said.
"In East Washington, nearly 18 percent of the population lived below the poverty line," the report says, compared to just 12 percent in western Washington.
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"Future studies can assess how poverty, rural development, and access to care affect higher mortality rates in eastern Washington," the report said.
Of the 11 most common causes of death in 2011- In 2015, East Washington reported higher mortality rates in 10 cases: cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, unwanted injury, chronic lower respiratory tract disease, stroke, diabetes, suicide, chronic liver disease and flu. The only cause of death in West Washington was overdoses of drugs.
The researchers found that 716 residents per 100,000 East Washington residents died, compared to 659 in western Washington. Nationally, 733 people per 100,000 inhabitants died from these causes.
The report defined East Washington as the 20 districts east of the Cascade Range that have 1.5 million inhabitants. The 19 counties west of the mountains have 5.4 million inhabitants.
Tuesday's report was compiled from data from the State Department of Health. The data took into account the age of humans and adjusted the numbers to exclude deaths from very young and very old people in order to obtain more relevant figures.
Ofer Amram, a co-author of the study, was an assistant professor at the Spokane-based medical school-Reviewing the findings may suggest that the smaller and more isolated communities of eastern Washington have less access to health care.
He also said that the differences in mortality rates are greater than expected.
For example, inadvertent injuries If you take 100,000 people each from East Washington and West Washington, about 45 will die from accidents in the East and about 36 from accidents in the West, the report said.
The Floyd College of Medicine was founded in London in 2015 with the aim of improving access to health care in rural Washington.