A comparative analysis of rural and urban mortality in Georgia, 1979

Am J Prev Med. 1985 Jan-Feb;1(1):22-9.


This paper examines the relationship between mortality and ruralness in the state of Georgia. In 1979, the rural Standardized Mortality Ratio (SMR) for deaths from all causes was significantly higher than expected when compared to statewide levels, while the urban SMR was significantly lower (p less than 0.01). Of the 13 leading causes of death, 9 had rural SMRs significantly higher than expected, while only homicide had a significantly greater urban SMR (p less than 0.01). Although much of the rural/urban difference in overall mortality is attributed to the fact that the rural population is older, figures adjusted for age and race still reveal that the rural death rate is significantly higher than the urban rate (p less than 0.01). Furthermore, there are several specific differences when analyzed by cause of death, age, and race that remain unexplained. Specific rural health problems include congenital anomalies, motor vehicle and other accidents, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease. Specific urban health problems include homicides and cancer. In addition to metropolitan status, a second indicator of ruralness, county population size, was used to analyze the data and produced similar results. As county population size increases, the total mortality decreases.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Georgia
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Rural Health*
  • Urban Health*