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Heart, lung study coming to Panola

The Batesville Rotary Club  recently heard a program from Tammy Taylor of Clarksdale, about an upcoming RURAL study that will focus on the high numbers of heart and lung disease cases in the Southeastern part of the United States. Panola is one of two Mississippi counties to be included in the study. 

Panola and Oktibbeha Counties have been chosen to participate in a study that aims to address critical gaps in the medical community’s understanding of heart and lung disorders in rural counties in the Southeastern part of the United States.

The project was announced in Batesville at a recent meeting of the Rotary Club by nurse Tammy Taylor of Clarksdale, who will be assisting in the Risk Underlying  Rural Areas Longitudinal (RURAL) study.

Essentially, the study will use 10 sites in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi to gather data taken from heart, lung, and blood tests from volunteers, in an effort to learn why the Southeast has notably more heart and lung disease than the rest of the country.

Taylor said a mobile clinic will be parked at Panola Medical Center when the study begins and anyone within the study’s age parameters (probably 25-50) can take part in the study. Doctors hope the data, along with other information about living conditions and daily habits, will guide new health directives and outreaches to reduce the elevated numbers of deaths caused by heart  and lung disease.

Panola Medical Center COO Chris Ware said Panola County’s inclusion in the program is a great benefit to  the community, and will likely result in some participants learning they have a life-threatening  heart or lung condition before the illness becomes acute and increasing the chance of deaths.

The RURAL Cohort Study team is led by a group of researchers from 16 different U.S. institutions. Their fields include public health, epidemiology and data sciences, sampling and survey methodology, social and environmental sciences, rural health, anthropology, genomics and computational biology, mobile health, digital health, and community-engaged research. They will work together to study the factors impacting the health of rural Americans.

Anyone tested at the mobile  sites will be advised of their general results and referred to cardiologists and other professionals as needed.

A community advisory board will be formed as the study period gets closer, and a marketing campaign is planned to make the public aware of the opportunity. Doctors and assistants from  the University of Mississippi Medical Center will administer the project.

Photo:  The Batesville Rotary Club  recently heard a program from Tammy Taylor of Clarksdale, about an upcoming RURAL study that will focus on the high numbers of heart and lung disease cases in the Southeastern part of the United States. Panola is one of two Mississippi counties to be included in the study. (Jeremy Weldon)