Health Disparities In Appalachia

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The Appalachia region is less racial and culturally diverse than the rest of the United States. Though, this seems to be gradually shifting. Traditionally, the region has been largely occupied by non-Hispanic whites. The 1990 census exposed the beginning of racial and ethnic change of the Appalachian region (Salob, 2014). The proportion of African Americans was 24.9 percent which was approximately three times greater than non-Hispanic whites at 8.1 percent The poverty rate amongst African Americans in Appalachia was 27 percent with 12.1 percent being non-Hispanic whites. In Appalachia, rates of deep poverty were lowest among whites and Asians and high among African Americans. Poverty in Appalachia evidently continues if deficiency is…show more content…
However, this may be a further barrier to residents who are seeking care due to barriers to access. In order to progress toward dismissal of health disparities in rural Appalachia several barriers need to be addressed. Lack of transportation, access to screening exams/preventive care, and existence of local health care facilities are common disparities Appalachian residents deal with. Access to receive proper physical exams, child care visits, laboratory work, vaccinations, and imaging exams are very limited and travel may be needed. Inadequate breast and cervical cancer screenings usually require travel to a larger medical facility. When living in Appalachia residence often have to travel large distances for medical services. Poor road conditions, living isolation, and lack of public transportation may be additional distance barriers for citizens. When discussing disparities in cancer, the issues can become more difficult. When comparing the rates of lung, colorectal, and cervical cancers between Appalachia and the United States, high occurrences and later stage diagnosis occur in Appalachia. In addition, lung and cervical cancers were at a higher rate in rural Appalachia than urban areas of Appalachia. The percentage of unstaged cancers was higher in rural Appalachia. This is most likely due to the lack of access to widespread diagnostic methods and care. Studies have stated that the greater…show more content…
Barriers that prevent residents from receiving proper excersise and nutrition include lack of transportation, inadequate sidewalks, sufficient income, absence of social support, and time. Large quantities of rural individuals who are uninsured are more likely to utilize the emergency department when care could have been managed in a primary practice. A community health center can help with unnecessary visits to the emergency room by providing low to no cost primary care through preventative services for rural areas suffering from poverty. In rural communities there are significantly fewer mental health providers than urban areas. Mental health providers with expertise and higher level of specialization are particularly rare in rural areas. Individuals in rural areas with mental health conditions are more likely to be uninsured than other residents in the area. Substance abuse can have a significant impact on mental health disorders. Common substances in rural Appalachia that are abused include methamphetamine, prescription drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. An important factor in addressing mental health delivery throughout rural Appalachia is that there is little to no public research explicit to the region. Depression may be developed as a trait by living in a chronically poor population. Also, chronic stress is usually experienced by rural

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