The Washington Post (A great divide in American death: Statistics show widening urban-rural gap) examined death statistics and found that death rates for white women –especially rural white women– have been climbing fast. Key culprits? Self-destructive behavior such as over-eating, opioid abuse, heavy drinking, smoking, and suicide. White women still live longer than other groups, but the trend for them is bad.
According to the Post:
In at least 30 counties in the South, black women in midlife now have a lower mortality rate than middle-aged white women, The Post found. That’s up from a single such county in 1999.
Among them is Newton County, Ga., southeast of Atlanta, where the death rate for black women ages 35 to 54 dropped from 472 per 100,000 to 234. The rate for white women went the other way, from 255 to 472.
The article cites researchers who speculate that new sources of stress are contributing to poor health and higher death rates.
The Post also connects areas with rising white death rates to those supporting Donald Trump’s presidential bid. That makes intuitive sense to me, although I don’t know whether there’s a causal link. What I will say is that those who vote for Donald Trump are going to be disappointed that he won’t be a stress reliever, even if he is somehow elected.
Image courtesy of Ohmega1982 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
—April 12, 2016