The health status and health determinants of urban Appalachian adults and children

Robert L. Ludke, Phillip J. Obermiller, Ronnie D. Horner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The health status of urban Appalachians-those who have migrated out of the region to urban areas such as Cincinnati, Columbus, Chicago, Baltimore, and Detroit-is largely unknown. What is known is tentative due to a greater emphasis on health care delivery than on health status and due to a heavy focus on Appalachian migrant populations in central and southwestern Ohio.1-6 Beginning in the early 1990s, a number of studies sought to more fully describe the health status of urban Appalachians, although this literature retained its focus on Appalachians residing in Greater Cincinnati. Several interesting patterns began to emerge from this work. For example, Obermiller and Oldendick7 found that, similar to urban blacks, white Appalachians' major health concerns included heart attack, stroke, emotional or mental illness, and serious accidental injury. In a follow-up report two years later, Obermiller and Handy8 added information on black urban Appalachians, whose health concerns were similar to those of white urban Appalachians. Based on interviews and case records obtained in the late 1990s, Halperin and Reiter-Purtill9 documented that urban Appalachian women who had migrated to Cincinnati experienced more severe symptoms of "nerves" than did rural Appalachian women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAppalachian Health and Well-Being
PublisherThe University Press of Kentucky
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780813135861
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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