Middle-Aged White Americans’ Death Rates (‘The New York Times’)

“It is difficult to find modern settings with survival losses of this magnitude,” write Dartmouth’s Ellen Meara and Jonathan Skinner in a commentary on a new study that indicates death rates are rising for middle-aged white Americans, reports The New York Times.

“That finding was reported Monday by two Princeton economists, Angus Deaton, who last month won the 2015 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, and Anne Case,” reports the Times. “Analyzing health and mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from other sources, they concluded that rising annual death rates among this group are being driven not by the big killers like heart disease and diabetes but by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.”

Meara is an associate professor of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice (TDI). Skinner is the James O. Freedman Presidential Professor in Economics, a professor of community and family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, and a professor at TDI.

Read the full story, published 11/2/15 by The New York Times.