Why the Mortality Rate for White Americans has Risen

death valley

The Atlantic has published an article by Olga Khazan about the rising mortality rate among white Americans. A portion of them are “despair deaths:” those resulting from suicides, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related liver disease.

But others, according to a new analysis Khazan cites from the Commonwealth Fund, suggests “mortality rates in the U.S. rose for white Americans aged 22 and 56.” They “are getting sick with the diseases that usually kill older people. And when they do get sick, they don’t get better,” she observes.

Her article highlights these points from the Commonwealth Fund report’s authors, David Squires and David Blumenthal:

“This trend was especially concentrated in the South.”

“The worsening economic standing of alcohol-related liver disease might have played a role.”

“This trend may reflect broader societal problems that have deleterious health effects, such as “less-educated workers’ increasing disengagement from the mainstream economy; declining levels of social connectedness; weakened communal institutions; and the splintering of society along class, geographic, and cultural lines.”

Read her complete piece: Why Are So Many Middle-Aged White Americans Dying?  Follow Olga Khazan on Twitter @olgakhazan.