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The rural elderly assess their health as poorer than that of the urban elderly. The range of health care providers and services in rural communities is narrower than in urban areas, and the rural elderly may experience structural barriers to accessing doctors, hospitals, or advanced medical services. For example, the per capita supply of physicians in nonmetro areas is considerably lower than in metro areas. Rural communities differ in their ability to meet the growing need for health care and other services of an aging population.


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