UAB and RURAL Study design new mobile clinic for rural Alabamians

Rural Study
RURAL Heart and Lung Study is here to help. Photo via Katiana Banks for Bham Now

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) teamed up with the Risk Underlying Rural Areas Longitudinal Study (RURAL) to create a mobile clinic dedicated to examining disease risks for Southerners in rural areas. We took a tour of the clinic as it traveled through Birmingham! Keep reading for a sneak peek.

Why RURAL Study needs the mobile clinic

Rural Study
Supporting healthy hearts and lungs in the rural South. Photo via Katiana Banks for Bham Now

For the past six years, RURAL Study has examined the reasons why rural communities face more health-related concerns than their urban counterparts.  

The RURAL Study allows researchers to study what causes such a high rate of heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders in Southern rural communities. It will gather over 4,000 multi-ethnic individuals from 10 counties in Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky and Alabama.

RURAL Study will recruit over 1,000 participants from Dallas and Wilcox counties here, in Alabama—these counties have higher heart and lung disease rates than others in the state.

The state-of-the-art mobile clinic

Rural Study
RURAL Study provides a way for rural Southerners to live longer and healthier lives. Photo via Katiana Banks for Bham Now

In the past, rural residents have not been included in research studies since they are not located near research hospitals and clinics. In order to reach these rural residents, UAB has designed a mobile clinic. 

Inside UAB’s mobile clinic, you’ll find a CT Scanner, an ECG Machine, an echocardiogram and many more tools previously unavailable to rural Alabamians. The mobile clinic will travel to several locations to promote their study in diverse communities while providing medical exams for the participants. 

Plans for RURAL Study’s mobile clinic

Rural Study
We cannot wait for RURAL Study to hit the road. Photo via Katiana Banks for Bham Now

With the help of this clinic, RURAL Study will study the participant’s medical history and factors that may cause heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders including:

  • Lifestyle choices
  • Behaviors
  • Hereditary
  • Environmental
  • Economic

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Tira Davis
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