A Heart Stopping Experience: The Effect of Rural Habitation on Cardiovascular Disease in Canada
The main focus of my research was to explore why there is a disproportionately high prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) displayed in rural populations as compared to urban populations in Canada. I am from a rural area, and therefore have a personal interest in the social and geographical effects of rural habitation on health.
Surprisingly, I found that geographical distance was not one of the main factors connected to an increased risk of CVD. Rather social isolation, lack of preventative education, and decreased number of physician visits were some of the main reasons why there is a higher rate of CVD in rural Canada. In fact, rural residents on average access 50% less preventative care services than urban populations. Despite these staggering statistics, there is still a lack of public financial support, and rural hospitals have been closing their doors. Canadians who live in rural areas face some of the highest disease risks in the country, yet there are very few options for people to learn more about their health or receive specialized medical care.
In the future, I would like to do further research on how to effectively educate people in rural areas about early warning signs and risk factors of cardiac arrest. I hope that people who see my poster learn more about geography as a social determinant of health and the importance of CVD prevention in rural areas that are currently underserved.
Celine Vereecken Smith is a fourth-year student in Laurier's Health Sciences program. She completed a poster and research paper for HE301: Social Determinants of Health under the supervision of Debbie Chaves (Science Librarian), Jordana Garbati (Teaching and Learning Writing Lab), and Laurie Jacklin (Health Sciences Professor), during the fall 2018 semester.
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