Study highlights death rate in Alabama

Study highlights death rate in Alabama
Doctors say getting your blood pressure checked regularly is important to long term health.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama has one of the highest overall death rates in the country. That’s according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alabama joins Kentucky, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and West Virginia who are all in the top five for the highest rates.

“You know probably not surprised,” said Bryan Combs, with UAB’s school of nursing.

The reason why, Combs adds, is that Alabama typically has a higher number of chronic diseases that can lead to death.

"Cardiac disease such as hypertension, cholesterol problems, high rates of stroke. We have high rate of diabetes. Also, we have a high rate of respiratory problems like COPD,” he said.

Among the official leading causes, the report lists heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional death, and stroke. So how do you avoid some of these conditions?

"I think it’s just trying to stress to the public trying to make sure you are living a healthy life. Not just the choices you make but, also being seen by a provider yearly,” he said.

Combs adds that people not getting regular checkups, is possibly one of the reasons so many are checking out early.

"I think it’s a big factor, whether it’s people with low income, people that don’t have medical insurance. Unfortunately, medical bills can be costly. I think people just don’t go unless they absolutely have too,” he said.

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