"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Poverty in Appalachia is concentrated in the communities around mountaintop removal mines, and people living in those areas suffer greater risk of early deaths, according to a new scientific paper by a West Virginia University researcher.
Michael Hendryx, an associate professor in the WVU Department of Community Medicine, compared data on poverty, mortality and mining in counties in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. He was trying to determine if residents near mountaintop removal mines experience greater poverty and higher death rates compared to other kinds of mining or other areas of Appalachia.
'Mountaintop mining areas had significantly higher mortality rates, total poverty rates and child poverty rates every year compared to other ... counties,' Hendryx wrote in his paper, which appears in the current issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice. 'Both poverty and mountaintop mining were independently associated with age-adjusted mortality rates.'"
Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette July 23, 2011.