Report highlights growing health disparities in Appalachia

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - According to a new study, the 25 million people who live among the Appalachian mountains have struggled to keep up with the health gains of the rest of the country, falling behind in nearly every major public health indicator.

The report released Thursday shows the 13-state region lags the rest of the country in 33 out of 41 public health indicators, including seven of the leading 10 causes of death in the United States. Deaths by poisoning, which include drug overdoses, were 37 percent higher than the rest of the country - a testament to the opioid addiction crisis.

Central Appalachia, which is in mostly eastern Kentucky, was the worst of the worst. It led all other Appalachian regions in deaths from heart disease, cancer, lung disease, injuries and diabetes.

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