Rural Residence Tied to Higher Risk for Heart Failure for Women age 54 years, Black Men

Findings persist after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and socioeconomic status.

The rural residence is associated with an increased risk for heart failure among women and Black men, according to a study published online in JAMA Cardiology.

Sarah E. Turecamo, from the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues assessed whether rurality is associated with an increased risk for heart disease. The analysis included data from 27,115 participants (68.8 percent Black; median age, 54 years) in the Southern Community Cohort Study.

The researchers found that during a median 13-year follow-up, age-adjusted heart failure incidence was 29.6 per 1,000 person-years for urban participants and 36.5 per 1,000 person-years for rural participants.

Even after adjusting for demographic information, cardiovascular risk factors, health behaviors, and socioeconomic status, a greater risk for incident heart disease existed for rural versus urban participants.

There was variance seen in rurality-associated risk across race and sex. The risk was greatest among Black men, followed by White women and Black women. Rurality was not associated with a greater risk for incident heart disease for White men.

“This inequity points to a need for additional emphasis on primary prevention of heart failure among rural populations,” the authors write.

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