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Researchers Urge City Folk to Try the Country Life Style

December 13, 1985|JAN ZIEGLER | United Press International

WASHINGTON — Scientists are finding that city people would be better off if they brought a little country into their lives and put greater emphasis on social networks, quiet and beauty.

A study from Duke University in North Carolina, part of a growing body of research, showed that urban dwellers are twice as likely to suffer depression as rural residents.

"In lay and scientific literature, the stress of modern life, which really means urban life, is strongly associated with the onset of psychiatric disorders," said Dr. Linda George, an associate professor of psychiatry and co-author of the study in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

"Clearly depression is much more prevalent in urban areas.

"Believe me, rural areas have their problems. There is lower income, lower education, fewer services. All is not idyllic, but there is greater emphasis on close social relationships, people you can confide in and trust."

There are also ways to control crowding, noise and occasional ugliness of urban life "if we as a society choose to," she said.

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