Toronto: People living in rural areas are at no greater risk of dying from heart disease than their urban counterparts, says a study led by an Indian-origin cardiologist.
"Our study shows once a patient leaves a hospital, their overall health outcomes are similar regardless of where they live," said lead author of the study Sacha Bhatia, cardiologist at Women's College Hospital in Toronto, Canada.
The study counters existing research which suggested gaps in care for those living in rural areas.
The researchers examined the records of more than 38,000 people with chronic ischemic heart disease living in either urban or rural areas.
"From our study, we know that people with heart disease in rural areas tend to rely heavily on emergency departments for their care because of a lack of outpatient access to family doctors and specialists," Bhatia pointed out.
"Yet, despite an increase in emergency department admissions in rural areas, we did not see worse health outcomes for these individuals," Bhatia added.