(HealthDay News) — The rate of cold-related deaths in rural areas of the western United States is much higher than in other regions of the country, according to a new report published online March 12 in The BMJ.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers analyzed 5,809 cold-related deaths that occurred nationwide from 2010–2013.

Cold-related death rates in urban areas ranged from 2.9–5.0 per million. The cold-related death rate was 20.5 per million in rural areas of the western United States, compared with 4.5–7.8 per million in other rural regions. Many rural counties in the western United States have high poverty rates, the researchers noted.

The researchers also found that weather-related deaths from extreme heat and cold, storms, and floods, can be up to seven times higher in low-income counties than in high-income counties.

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