SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – People in eastern Washington are more likely to die from cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other common causes of death than people in western Washington.

That’s according to researchers at Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

The report says reasons may be more poverty and less access to health care, but require further study.

Of the 11 leading causes of death in the state from 2011-2015, eastern Washington had higher mortality rates in 10 of them: Cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, diabetes, suicide, chronic liver disease and the flu. The only cause of death in which western Washington was higher was drug overdoses.

The report defined eastern Washington as the 20 counties east of the Cascade Range.

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