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White Adult Death Rates Exceed Expectations In U.S.

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In the United States, middle-aged whites are dying at a rate that exceeds expectations and according to new research, 60 percent of the gap between reality and expectation can be attributed to a lack of expected improvement in nearly all of the leading causes of death.

But while the leading causes of death — which include diabetes, heart disease and respiratory disease — account for more than half of the gap, the remaining 40 percent can be attributed to suicide and substance abuse, according to the research.

The research, which was conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, places the blame “largely” on the lack of expected progress in combating the leading causes of death.

According to the Commonwealth Fund’s recent report, which was released on Friday, the negative trend in mortality among middle-aged white adults suggests “an urgent need for further investigation of its causes and potential remedies.”

The Commonwealth Fund’s research comes on the heels of a Princeton University study that found a reversal in a decades-long decline in death rates for white Americans between the ages of 45 and 54.

Following up on the Princeton study, which was conducted by economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case, the New York Times released the findings of its own analysis. The analysis showed that the negative mortality trend was not limited to middle-aged white Americans, as a similar incline in death rates can also be seen in the nation’s younger adults, those between the ages of 25 and 34.

According to the NY Times, prescription drug abuse takes the brunt of the blame when it comes to the increased death rates among young adults in the United States.

Based on the Common Wealth’s findings, the states with the largest gap between expectations and reality for death rates in middle-aged whites include Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, West Virginia, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kentucky.

The states with the smallest gap include Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut and California.

The Commonwealth’s study points out that between 2002 and 2014, those whose incomes were 200 percent or more below the federal poverty level saw an increase in mortality rates from 16 percent to 22.1 percent. In contrast, those with incomes of at least 400 percent of the federal poverty level–those on the other side of the economic equation–saw a reduction, as death rates dropped from 57.8 percent to 50.4 percent.

An unrelated study published in 2015 found a link between poverty and smaller brains in children.

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