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Alarming Finding: Midlife mortality on rise among white Americans

Staff writer ▼ | November 4, 2015
Midlife crisis is striking white Americans so hard they are facing the risk of rising mortality rates even as the other races and nationalities are seeing slowing death rates.
White Americans
Study   The causes of death are more psychological
And more disconcerting is the fact that the causes of death are more psychological and emotional.

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) showed that death rates are on the increase among middle-aged white Americans, even as it declines for whites in other rich countries.

The causes are largely related to suicide and drug and alcohol abuse, and are seen mostly in less-educated white Americans.

This is happening at a time when death rates are declining for all other races and age groups elsewhere.

Two economists, Angus Deaton and Anne Case, analyzed health and mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as other sources. They concluded that poorly educated American whites died at a high rate, thus increasing the death rate for the entire group of middle-aged white Americans.

Death rate for whites aged between 45 and 54 in the U.S. who had a high school degree or less education rose by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014.

Middle-aged whites have a mortality rate of 415 per 100,000, while middle-aged blacks have a higher mortality rate than whites of 581 per 100,000.