Death rates up among white middle-aged Americans: Why?

November 3, 2015 11:17 AM

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Death rates up among white middle-aged Americans: Why?

There is a danger of a "lost generation" if this trend, which is particularly pronounced among people without a college education, continues, according to the authors. In the previous two decades, the mortality rate fell by 2 percent each year on average for this group – but this trend has been reversing since 1999. While obesity rates have risen too, this accounts for "only a small fraction" of these deaths, mainly via a small rise in deaths from diabetes.

From an economic perspective, there is also the potential for greater Medicare expenses in future if this age category moves into their elderly years in worse mental and physical shape than the previous generation.

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