Past studies have shown that rural Americans are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and they experienced more struggles trying to manage the disease than their more urban counterparts. In a new study, researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine took a closer look at rural residents experiencing diabetes complications such as heart and kidney problems. Their research, which was published in the journal Diabetes Care, showed that these rural populations are at significantly higher risk of suffering from end-stage kidney disease, heart failure and heart attacks, all of which could caused by a lack of access to medical care.

The study's corresponding author, Rozalina McCoy, told UM news: "Those who live in rural areas have a greater risk of experiencing eight out of the eleven complications that we measured compared with those living in cities. . . .They were 15 percent more likely to have dangerously low blood sugar levels, which clearly indicates that their diabetes is not being managed properly."

The study's co-author, Elsa Davis, added, "While our study didn't address why these differences exist, we do know that people living outside of city areas are less likely to receive care from diabetes specialists, to receive diabetes self-management education, and to be monitored for diabetes complications."

Read the full article about rural residents with diabetes by Heather Close at The Rural Blog.