Middle-aged white Americans have shown a rise in death rates in the past 15 years, which can be attributed largely to drug use and suicide.
According to Proceding from the National Academy of Sciences, reported in The Washington Post, the death rate for white men and women ages 45-54 without a college degree has been increasing, bucking the trend of increased life expectancy in western nations. In fact, this is one of only two expamples of the mortality rate for a large demographic group in a western country rising in recent decades. The other group was Russian men after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Researcher Angus Deaton, a professor at Princeton University, explained the causes:
“Drugs and alcohol, and suicide… are clearly the proximate causes,” he said. “Half a million people are dead who should not be dead. About 40 times the Ebola stats. You're getting up there with HIV-AIDS.”
To read more about the trend and its implications, visit The Washington Post.