Article Highlights:

  • A new initiative is seeking to collect big data on individuals in rural areas to understand and alleviate these health disparities. The Risk Underlying Rural Areas Longitudinal (RURAL) cohort study is working to address critical gaps in knowledge of heart and lung disorders in rural counties in the southeastern US.
  • The study will be led by researchers from 16 different institutions across the US, and will focus on ten rural counties in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The research will involve collecting various data points on rural populations, including blood count data, to better understand risk and resilience factors that may be specific to members of rural communities.
  • RURAL researchers will share county-specific results with community organizations and other groups in the network, which will help guide future programs to improve health in local areas. As data becomes available throughout the study period, all rural communities will have access to county-level findings.

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