This one factor almost guarantees a shorter life 63



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A shocking new report has shown that there is one lifestyle factor that practically assures you on a shorter life expectancy, dying from cancer or diabetes, and it’s not smoking, drinking or eating the wrong foods.

The Garvan Research Foundation yesterday released its report on medical research and rural health, and found that Australians living in regional areas fared badly compared to their city counterparts.

The study found that diabetes killed a greater proportion of rural dwellers, and that asthma and obesity were also more prevalent.

Garvan chief executive Andrew Giles said, “We expected that there [had] always been some issues in rural and regional health.

“We have known for many years that you’re more likely to die of cancer if you live in rural and regional Australia- you’re not more likely to get cancer, you’re more likely to die of it.

“But this report shows that it covers so many other areas, everything from cardio vascular to asthma to osteoporosis to mental health issues. So really, in every facet of health, the outcomes are worse in rural and regional areas.”

“The figures are quite shocking,” said Mr Giles.

The study found there was a 40 per cent higher death rate in remote areas compared to a major city, and that life expectancy 2.5 years lower for men and 1.3 years lower for women in outer regional, remote and very remote areas

As Mr Giles explained, country folk weren’t any more likely to get cancer but their outcome was worse. The five-year survival rate decreased the further from regional centres a person lived.

Meanwhile, diabetes is killing more people in remote and very remote areas, and the prevalence of asthma is significantly higher.

Adults in outer regional and remote areas are almost 10 per cent more likely to be overweight or obese (69.5 per cent) compared with adults in major cities (60 per cent).

There are also higher rates of high blood pressure, alcohol abuse, smoking and mental health problems, including dementia, outside Australian cities.

Mr Giles said the report showed the importance of GPs in regional areas and said the disconnect between regional and city outcomes was an “issue for all of government”.


Are you surprised by these findings? What do you think needs to be done to improve the health outcomes of regional and remote Australians? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Not sure why?? I know people in rural areas don’t have specialists close by some are even too far from a GP so they probably put off going to the doctors when they don’t feel well. It means leaving their homes and families.

  2. You find most adults leave the city for a retirement lifestyle. These figures don’t reflect that shift

  3. The mortality rates for regional and rural cancer patients has been significantly higher for years, and this has been shown in previous cancer research.

  4. My wife shares similar thoughts in particular regarding Broken Hill. If you did not die on the roads while young, there is a very good chance that cancer will take you out.

  5. The cost of seeing the local GP is unaffordable, many can’t afford to fill a prescription after paying the massive gap to get one.

  6. It is because they have less access and can not leave as often to be checked.And if you have animals you can not leave them. A lot of fertilisers had cancer causing things as well.

  7. I live in a regional area – and am not surprised by results -regularly we hear of someone who has died who most likely would of survived if diagnosis had been given sooner. My husband and I travel to Brisbane to visit our G.P that is 400kms because of the lack of good diagnostic care in our area – its not good enough

  8. For one thing there are less population out there. Most farms have a good vegie patch, a cow to milk & kill own meat. Can’t afford fast food out there. Stress is a major factor to farmers, also farmers using chemical sprays etc may also be susceptible to cancers.Other population living in towns may have other factors like unemployment, they don’t have the advantage of growing their own food, they may be the biggest majority who get sick. Then there is the indigenous community, who have their own unfortunate circumstances. So there are quite a few levels to consider with this article.

  9. Blame it on the stuff that is sprayed on the land and then inhaled by locals

    1 REPLY
    • “As Mr Giles explained, country folk weren’t any more likely to get cancer but their outcome was worse. “

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