Wednesday, November 04, 2015

if I'm not large and in-charge, then phuggit, I'm out!!!

theatlantic |  Since 1998, people all over the world have been living healthier and living longer. But middle-aged, white non-Hispanics in the United States have been getting sicker and dying in greater numbers. The trend is being driven primarily by people with a high-school degree or less.

That's the sobering takeaway from a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published this week.

The study authors sum it up:
Between 1978 to 1998, the mortality rate for U.S. whites aged 45 to 54 fell by 2 percent per year on average, which matched the average rate of decline in the six countries shown, and the average over all other industrialized countries. After 1998, other rich countries’ mortality rates continued to decline by 2 percent a year. In contrast, U.S. white non-Hispanic mortality rose by half a percent a year. No other rich country saw a similar turnaround.
That means “half a million people are dead who should not be dead,” Angus Deaton, the 2015 Nobel laureate in economics and co-author of the paper, told The Washington Post. “About 40 times the Ebola stats. You’re getting up there with HIV-AIDS.”

The reasons for the increased death rate are not the usual things that kill Americans, like diabetes and heart disease. Rather, it’s suicide, alcohol and drug poisonings, and alcohol-related liver disease.
The least-educated are worst off: All-cause mortality among middle-aged Americans with a high-school degree or less increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people between 1999 and 2013, but there was little change in mortality for people with some college. The death rate for the college-educated fell slightly.