The Health Status and Unique Health Challenges of Rural Older Adults in California

From the brief:

Despite living in the countryside where open space is plentiful and there is often significant agricultural production, rural older adults have higher rates
of overweight/obesity, physical inactivity and food insecurity than older adults living in suburban areas. All three conditions are risk factors for heart  disease, diabetes and repeated falls. This policy brief examines the health of rural elders and, by contrast, their urban counterparts, and finds that both groups are more likely to be unhealthy than suburban older adults. Yet rural elders, because of their geographical isolation and lack of proximity to health care providers, experience unique environmental and other risk factors that require context-specific solutions to these health issues. In both policies and programs that impact health, policymakers need to take into account the distinctive environmental and social context of older adults living in California’s countryside.

by Eva M. Durazo, Melissa R. Jones, Steven P. Wallace, Jessica Van Arsdale, May Aydin, Connie Stewart

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