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RATE OF FATAL HEART DISEASE CALLED WORSE IN APPALACHIA

White residents of Appalachia, a region that has come to symbolize poor rural areas, die from heart disease at younger ages and in larger numbers than other Americans, a researcher said Wednesday.

Researchers from West Virginia University attributed the phenomenon to the region's shortage of hospital heart units and cardiac rehabilitation facilities, which are clustered mostly in more affluent and urban areas.

Elizabeth Barnett, assistant professor at the school of medicine, and her team found white Appalachians between ages 35 and 64 have about a 20 percent greater chance than other white Americans of dying from heart disease, according to a summary of the research released Wednesday by the university.

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