Middle age men mortality
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Something strange is happening to middle-aged white Americans. Among all ethnicities or races, as well as counterparts of other wealthy countries, the mortality rate for this group has been rising rapidly. In contrast, mortality rates of middle-aged black and Hispanic Americans continue to decline, as well as death rates for the old and young of all ethnic and races.

The increased mortality rate in this group led to a major investigation. The findings were surprising as the death rates in middle-aged white American group wasn't caused by chronic disease. This was something unexpected and bizarre. So, why are middle-aged white Americans dying at a rapid rate?

A disturbing trend discovered by Nobel Memorial Prize winner

Princeton economists, Anne Case and Angus Deaton who won the 2015 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, made an incredible discovery after a careful analysis of health and mortality data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other sources between 1999 and 2013. They found that a group of middle-aged white Americans (ages 45 to 54) have an increased mortality rate that continues to increase. This trend is especially alarming as the death rate of other advanced countries, like the United Kingdom, have been declining by about 33 percent.

In the findings of the economists, education seemed to be a factor for the middle-aged white Americans. For those who had a high school diploma or below, the death rate increased by more than 20 percent. Compared with the mortality rate of this group prior to its previous rate from 1979 to 1998, about a half million lives have been lost between the 1999 to 2013 period to something other than chronic disease or aging - something that could have been avoided.

Mortality rates for middle-aged white Americans driven by self-inflicted tragedies

According to the study by Case and Deaton in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the mortality rates of middle-aged white Americans has rapidly increased due to things that could have been avoided. After analyzing health and mortality statistics, they reported that the epidemic of alcohol/drug abuse, diseases formed from those abuses (such as liver disease), and suicide are to blame.

The economists noted that the group's increasing midlife distress have led to self-inflicted mortality. Alcohol and drug use increased in the group with opioids being the drug of choice amongst the group to numb physical and mental pain. Medications that fall within this class include hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, and related drugs. Addictions are difficult to control and usually lead to suicide, alcohol liver disease, and death from disease. According to Case and Deaton:
"Addictions are hard to treat and pain is hard to control, so those currently in midlife may be a 'lost generation' whose future is less bright than those who preceded them."

Causes for self-infliction that lead to mortality

Self-reported health problems and pain, mental health, and the inability to work have contributed to self-infliction amongst middle-aged white Americans according to the report by Case and Deaton.

So, why is the current middle-aged white American generation experiencing so much physical and mental pain compared to previous generations? Could it be due to the economy?

That is most doubtful being that previous generations have fought their way through stressful times. Could it be due to our food supply being tainted with dangerous chemicals and pesticides? Most likely!

In fact, numerous studies have proven that both physical pain and mental instability are a result of toxic food and environmental factors. What do you think?

About the author

Abby Campbell is a medical, health, and nutrition research writer. She's dedicated to helping people live a healthy lifestyle in all aspects - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Abby practices, writes, and coaches on natural preventive care, nutritional medicine, and complementary and alternative therapy.