The New York Times (11/26, A1, Kolata, Tavernise) reports a study published in JAMA found that life expectancy in the US “has declined over a period of three years.” While “the focus has been on the plight of white Americans in rural areas who were dying from so-called deaths of despair: drug overdoses, alcoholism and suicide,” the study found “that death rates increased for middle-aged people of all racial and ethnic groups.” Dr. Steven Woolf of Virginia Commonwealth University, the study’s lead author, said, “The whole country is at a health disadvantage compared to other wealthy nations. We are losing people in the most productive period of their lives. Children are losing parents. Employers have a sicker work force.” The Washington Post (11/26, A1, Achenbach) reports the researchers examined “the past six decades of mortality data” and found that in recent years, the US has experienced “increasing mortality and falling life expectancy for people ages 25 to 64…while other wealthy nations have generally experienced continued progress in extending longevity.” The study found that “by age group, the highest relative jump in death rates from 2010 to 2017 – 29 percent – has been among people ages 25 to 34.” The article suggests that “the findings are sure to fuel political debate about causes and potential solutions, because the geography of rising death rates overlaps to a significant extent with states and regions that are hotly contested in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.” USA Today (11/26, Ortiz) reports “the study paints a bleak picture of a workforce plagued by drug overdoses, suicides and organ-system diseases while grappling with economic stresses.” According to the study, the US “has the worst midlife mortality rate among 17 high-income countries despite leading the world in per-capita spending on health care.” While life expectancy continued to increase in many other industrialized countries, in the US, it decreased “from a peak of 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.6 in 2017, the last year covered by the report.” SOURCE: APA Headlines)
- ) strategy and implementation of activities aimed at increased supports for caregivers of persons with mental illness, in addition to the continued work of the Coalition and sustaining the collaboration between aging and behavioral health providers at the local level.
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