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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Texas A&M: Rural Areas Had Significantly Higher Odds of Congestive Heart Failure Related Deaths in All Regions Except the Northeast

Around 6.5 million Americans face the daily challenges of congestive heart failure (CHF), a condition in which the heart is unable to pump the amount of blood the body needs to function. In a new study conducted by the Southwest Rural Health Research Center at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, doctoral student Ms. Kristin Primm along with Drs. Alva Ferdinand, Timothy Callaghan, Marvellous Akinlotan, Samuel Towne and Jane Bolin investigated recent in-hospital deaths among CHF patients with a focus on differences between urban and rural patients in each of the country’s four census regions: South, Midwest, West and Northeast. Building on previous research in CHF death trends, the researchers aimed to identify areas in the U.S. most in need of improved access to quality health care.

The researchers relied on a national-level dataset on inpatient hospital care in the U.S. between 2009-2014. Data was limited to hospitalized adults who had a primary diagnosis of CHF, and the outcome of interest was deaths that occurred while patients were hospitalized for CHF. The research team included data on the census region of each hospitalization and used an urban-rural classification scheme that consisted of six levels ranging from large central metropolitan areas to non-core rural areas. Their analysis also included patient-level demographic factors such as sex, age, race, income, insurance type and number of medical conditions existing alongside CHF, known as comorbidities.

Among the many research findings was that rural areas had significantly higher odds of congestive heart failure related deaths in all regions except the Northeast. For additional study highlights review the article, “Researchers investigate Rural-Urban Divide in Heart Failure Deaths.”

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