Suicide, Drug Overdose, Alzheimer’s Drive Increase in US Mortality Rate

For the first time in a decade, the mortality rate in the United States has risen, and researchers are speculating that Americans between the ages of 45 and 54 may be a “lost generation” with a future that is less bright than those who preceded them.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the death rate for all causes of death increased from 823.9 per 100,000 in 2014 to 841.9 per 100,000 in 2015.

A total of 18 causes of death rose between 2014 and 2015, lead mostly by increases in the death rates from Alzheimer’s disease, drug overdose, suicide, and heart disease. The death rate for Alzheimer’s disease rose from 29.3 per 100,000 in 2014 to 34.3 in 2015. The rate deaths from heart disease rose from 192.7 in 2014 to 196.2 in 2015. Deaths from drug overdose rose from 14.2 per 100,000 population in the second quarter of 2014 to 15.3 for the same quarter in 2015. Death rates for suicide increased from 13.2 per 100,000 in the third quarter of 2014 to 13.6 in the same quarter of 2015.

In comparison, CDC reported that death rates for only 2 diseases declined from 2014 to 2015: HIV (2.1 deaths per 100,000 in 2014 to 2 in 2015) and cancer (185.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2014 to 185.1 in 2015).

In a similar study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), researchers found that whites in particular are dying younger than ever. Specifically, white Americans between the ages of 45 and 54 years are dying at higher rates. Meanwhile mortality rates at midlife for all other racial groups have fallen.

“…if the epidemic is brought under control, its survivors may have a healthy old age,” the authors of the PNAS study concluded. “However, 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.”

The PNAS study reported that there are 3 main culprits for the increased mortality rate among whites in midlife: drug and alcohol poisoning, chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis, and suicide.

“The increase in midlife morbidity and mortality among US white non-Hispanics is only partly understood,” the authors of the PNAS study admitted.

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