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Death rate on the rise among middle-aged white Americans

Death rate among white U.S. men and women between the ages of 45 to 54 is rising notably between 1999 and 2013

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A self report by the white population reported declining overall health, cognitive health, and even daily life activities along with a rise in reports of  inability to work, chronic pain, and also an ill effect on liver function among the whites in the U.S. The rate of morbidity shot up too in addition to this.

The mortality rate among white U.S. men and women between the ages of 45 to 54 is rising notably between 1999 and 2013. Recent study found that middle-aged white people in the United States have the death rate has risen by 0.5 percent each year since 1999.

Anne Case, Ph.D., and Angus Deaton, Ph.D., of Princeton University, reported the findings in a study published online on the November 2, 2015 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health funded the study.

AFSP or American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reported that in 2013, the highest suicide rate (19.1) was among people 45 to 64 years old. The second highest rate (18.6) occurred in those 85 years and older. Younger groups have had consistently lower suicide rates than middle-aged and older adults. In 2013, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had a suicide rate of 10.9.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Census Bureau, individual death records, and other sources were used to complete the study.

The death rate among middle-aged white men in the U.S. reduced from 1978-1998 by two percent annually. This is the same as that in France, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom, along with other European nations.

Several other affluent nations carried on with the drop at about two percent annually post 1998.

Researchers found that the rise in death rate can’t be completely understood. It could have been due to increasing accessibility to opioid prescription drugs, drugs prescribed for chronic pain, and the recession that hit the country in 2008.

This new phenomenon altered years of improvement in death rate and was specifically seen among the non-Hispanic white population in the United States. The top three reasons behind the the increasingly high mortality among whites were drug and alcohol poisoning, suicides and chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis.

These factors may have together or individually been responsible: overdoses of opioids, suicide, and increase in liver disease due to alcohol abuse. Researchers observed that this sudden change in health trends suggests that middle-aged adults in present times will have worse health when they enter their senior age and Medicare eligibility in comparison to today’s adults age 65 and older.

Source: EurekAlert