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According to a new study, you may want to think twice before heading for the hills. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that that the rural injury rate is significantly higher than in cities.
Using a federal database that collected death certificate information from across the country, the study analyzed nearly 1.3 million deaths from injuries between 1999 and 2006.
The conclusion: Life as a country bumpkin may be more dangerous than you'd think. Here are a few of the study's key findings:
Though the findings cut against the grain of popular wisdom, they don't come as a surprise to medical professionals.
Is Proximity to Medical Care a Factor?
Many rural areas simply do not have the level of emergency medical care that can be found in major American cities, a spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians told NBC News.
Rural medical facilities are notoriously understaffed with dated equipment. With such wide open spaces, the amount of time it takes to get to the trauma center and the operating table can also spell the difference between life and death.
The study appears in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.