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There is no duty we so much underrate as... being
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An engrossing and informative read:

http://money.yahoo.com/distinctly-american-phenomenon-workforce-dying-160006062.html

'A distinctly American phenomenon': Our workforce is dying faster than any other wealthy country, study shows

USA TODAY

Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY

USA TODAY November 26, 2019


'A distinctly American phenomenon': Our workforce is dying faster than any other wealthy country, study shows
USA TODAY
Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY
USA TODAYNovember 26, 2019
Business men working together in modern cafe
The world's most potent economy is dying at a worrisome pace. (Wire Images)
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The engine that powers the world’s most potent economy is dying at a worrisome pace, a “distinctly American phenomenon’’ with no easily discernible cause or simple solution.

Those are some of the conclusions from a comprehensive new study by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University showing that mortality rates for U.S. adults ages 25-64 continue to increase, driving down the general population’s life expectancy for at least three consecutive years.

The report, “Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates in the United States, 1959-2017,’’ was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study paints a bleak picture of a workforce plagued by drug overdoses, suicides and organ-system diseases while grappling with economic stresses.

“This looks like an excellent paper – just what we needed to help unravel the overall decline in life expectancy in the U.S.,’’ said Eileen Crimmins, an associate dean at the University of Southern California who’s an expert on the link between health and socioeconomic factors.

In a trend that cuts across racial and ethnic boundaries, the U.S. has the worst midlife mortality rate among 17 high-income countries despite leading the world in per-capita spending on health care.

And while life expectancy in those other industrialized nations continues to inch up, it has been going in the opposite direction in America, decreasing from a peak of 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.6 in 2017, the last year covered by the report.

By comparison, according to the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker, the average longevity in similar countries is 82.2 years. Japan’s is 84.1, France’s 82.4 and Canada’s 81.9. They left the U.S. behind in the 1980s and increased the distance as the rate of progress in this country diminished and eventually halted in 2011.

Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the VCU Center on Society and Health and the study’s lead author, said the reasons for the decline go well beyond the lack of universal health care in the U.S. – in contrast with those other nations – although that’s a factor.

“It would be easier if we could blame this whole trend on one problem, like guns or obesity or the opioid epidemic, all of which distinguish the U.S. from the other countries,’’ Woolf told USA TODAY. “But we found increases in death rates across 35 causes of death.’’

They were most pronounced in the industrial Midwest, the 13 Appalachian states and upper New England, which Woolf attributed partly to the decline in manufacturing jobs and the opioid epidemic.

Of the top 10 states with the highest number of excess deaths in the 25-64 age range – meaning deaths above projections based on U.S. mortality rates – eight were in the Rust Belt or Appalachia. Half of the excess deaths were concentrated in the latter region.

The Ohio Valley – comprising Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania – accounted for one-third.

Some of the other numbers mined by the study, based on data compiled by the U.S. Mortality Database and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are staggering:

Between 1999 and 2017, midlife mortality from drug overdoses spiked by 386.5%.

In that same age group and time period, deaths from hypertensive diseases increased by 78.9%, and those linked to obesity by 114%.

Suicides rose by 38% and climbed 55.9% among those ages 55-64.

Those are a lot of lives snuffed out in prime years, a long-range threat to an economy that ranks No. 1 globally in gross domestic product.

“Not only are employers more likely to see premature deaths in their workers, but also greater illness rates and greater disability, and that puts U.S. businesses at a disadvantage against businesses in other countries that have a healthier and more productive workforce,’’ Woolf said, adding that employers here are already saddled with high health care costs.

US mortality rate 'root causes' include lack of education and living wages
The report showed mortality rates among those younger than 25 and older than 64 have decreased. That might point a finger at the country’s dysfunctional health care system for working adults, because many in those other age groups can be covered by either the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicare.

Woolf disputes that notion, saying only 10% to 20% of health outcomes can be attributed to medical care. He said the bigger culprit is a lack of social programs and support systems more common in other wealthy countries for when working families run into difficult times.

Those rough spells, often associated with a job loss, can lead to the kind of unhealthy behaviors – drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, overeating, suicide attempts – that result in what have become known as “deaths of despair.’’

Woolf said a noticeable increase in those is yet another indication of the seriousness of the problem the U.S. faces, one he said will require investment from the public and private sectors to address.

Even if Americans were to reverse their recent backward trend, one estimate says that at its rate of longevity growth from the past several years it would take the U.S. more than 100 years to catch up to the average life expectancy other wealthy countries reached by 2016.

“We’re making a huge mistake if we don’t step back and look at the root causes,’’ Woolf said, including a lack of educational opportunities and living wages among the likely causes. “The prescription for the country is we’ve got to help these people. And if we don’t, we’re literally going to pay with our lives.’’

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: US life expectancy continues downward spiral, study shows
 

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Got to keep money in the CEO's pockets.
 

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no shit, we dont have any real healthcare... so no one gets check ups, and are stressed if they get sick. then they don't want to even take days off.
next we work the most hrs. so no rest physically or mentally. if you do take time off companies act like you pissed on them. then we get paid less on avg compared to our cost of living, so ppl are stressed non stop.
 

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There is no duty we so much underrate as... being
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Very American to call this a workforce problem.
Quite so.

Considered modifying the title for that but somehow felt appropriate as the title sheds light on the situation in its own right.
 

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Magic, sparkles and Strap-ons!
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I know the solution!

More visa workers, more illegal labor, will teach those lazy Americans to work harder!
 

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There is no duty we so much underrate as... being
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The New York Times effectively giving everyone the okay sign (oops, that's racist, so maybe not) so people may be concerned about the "white death" by noting that it's not only whites from the working class dying off in historic numbers. Were the subject no so somber it would be hilarious.

A new study shows that death rates increased for middle-aged people of all racial and ethnic groups.

By Gina Kolata and Sabrina Tavernise
Nov. 26, 2019

As the life expectancy of Americans has declined over a period of three years — a drop driven by higher death rates among people in the prime of life — 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.

But a new analysis of more than a half-century of federal mortality data, published on Tuesday in JAMA, found that the increased death rates among people in midlife extended to all racial and ethnic groups, and to suburbs and cities. And while suicides, drug overdoses and alcoholism were the main causes, other medical conditions, including heart disease, strokes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also contributed, the authors reported.

The increase in deaths among people in midlife highlighted the lagging health measures in the United States compared with other wealthy nations, despite the fact that the United States has the highest per capita health spending in the world, noted an editorial that accompanied the study.

“Mortality has improved year to year over the course of the 20th century,” said Dr. Samuel Preston, a demographer at the University of Pennsylvania. “The 21st century is a major exception. Since 2010 there’s been no improvement in mortality among working-aged people.”

While the total number of excess deaths — meaning the number of deaths that would not have happened if the mortality rate had continued to improve — is small, at 33,000, deaths in younger people have a much bigger effect on national life-expectancy estimates than deaths of people in their 80s or 90s.

Death rates are actually improving among children and older Americans, Dr. Woolf noted, perhaps because they may have more reliable health care — Medicaid for many children and Medicare for older people.

According to the new study, the death rate from 2010 to 2017 for all causes among people ages 25 to 64 increased from 328.5 deaths per 100,000 people to 348.2 deaths per 100,000. It was clear statistically by 2014 that it was not just whites who were affected, but all racial and ethnic groups and that the main causes were drug overdoses, alcohol and suicides.

“The fact that it’s so expansive and involves so many causes of death — it’s saying that there’s something broader going on in our country,” said Ellen R. Meara, a professor of health policy at Dartmouth College. “This no longer limited to middle-aged whites.”

The states with the greatest relative increases in death rates among young and middle-aged adults were New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, West Virginia and Ohio.

Dr. Woolf said one of the findings showed that the excess deaths were highly concentrated geographically, with fully a third of them in just four states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Indiana.

“What’s not lost on us is what is going on in those states,” he said. “The history of when this health trend started happens to coincide with when these economic shifts began — the loss of manufacturing jobs and closure of steel mills and auto plants.”

For demographers like Kenneth Wachter, a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, the study’s findings are not surprising because there have been a number of similar reports. But, he said, “it is a valuable paper in bringing together these trends.”

The study leaves unanswered questions, including, Why is there an increased death rate only in the 25-to-64 age group?

“We need to look at root causes,” Dr. Woolf said. “Something changed in the 1980s, which is when the growth in our life expectancy began to slow down compared to other wealthy nations.”

The increased deaths from drug overdoses reflected increased rates of addiction to opioids. But they have also risen because of changes in the drug supply in the East and Midwest. Over the last decade, the synthetic drug known as fentanyl has been mixed into heroin — or in some places has replaced it. That has made the drug supply more deadly, since it is difficult for users to know the dose they are taking.

This is not the first time that life expectancy has gotten stuck in the United States. Male life expectancy stalled in the 1960s, Dr. Preston said. It picked up again, and the gains made since have been substantial.

Sam Harper, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal, offered a word of caution.

“I’m not sure the dramatic, ‘there’s something desperately wrong with the entire country’ narrative is entirely accurate,” Dr. Harper said. “Certain groups, such as Hispanics and Asians, are doing O.K. It’s not like the entire country is being subsumed by a single social phenomenon that can explain all of this. There are a lot of moving parts.”

He added: “The U.S. has made dramatic gains in life expectancy over the past several decades. It’s important to remember that people here live a very long time compared to a lot of places in the world.”

John G. Haaga, director of the division of behavioral and social research at the National Institute on Aging, which funded this study, also saw a bright spot: Life expectancy in the coastal metro areas — both east and west — has improved at roughly the same rate as in Canada.

“It’s important because it means this is not somehow deep in our national soul or genetics or something,” he said. “We know we can do better right here in America. It proves that it’s possible.”

The worrying pattern, he said, was the growing divide by region.

“We used to be much more similar, even when I was in college in the early 1970s and now we are pulling apart,” he said. “We haven’t really explained what’s going wrong and what to do about it.”

He said his institute is funding a committee at the National Academies of Sciences to explore the issue.

Margot Sanger-Katz contributed reporting.

[Like the Science Times page on Facebook. | Sign up for the Science Times newsletter.]

Gina Kolata writes about science and medicine. She has twice been a Pulitzer Prize finalist and is the author of six books, including “Mercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, a Family's Genetic Destiny, and The Science That Saved Them.” @ginakolata • Facebook

Sabrina Tavernise is a national correspondent covering demographics and is the lead writer for The Times on the Census. She started at The Times in 2000, spending her first 10 years as a foreign correspondent.
The twenty-first century was excellent for black mortality rate until 2015, which seems to coincide with the falling homicide rates in the U.S. until 2015 with the explosion of violence in the wake of Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement's successes, etc. However, the twenty-first century has been appalling for American Indian/Native American mortality.

A prevailing similarity of overdose death rates between Native Americans and whites suggests that the methamphetamine culprit cannot be solely blamed for the considerably higher Native American mortality rates. Native American mortality is up roughly 30% but is seldom discussed. The Washington Post provided a rather excellent piece in 2018 concerning how a plethora of Mexican cartels and satellite operations for same had begun using Native American reservations as superb grounds on which to expand meth operations as they are able to operate on reservations rather easily due to the taut matters of jurisdiction at these locations. Meanwhile, blacks are dying more from fentanyl than they had been in time periods before this one.

One of the most perspicuous trends is that "working-age" American men between 25 and 64 are where the risks of drug abuse, suicide, hypertension-related deaths and over a few dozen other terrible causes are all increasing dramatically.
 

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Couldn't imagine not getting paid holidays from work or having to stress about healthcare, insurance forms, going into debt from paying prescriptions. This news has to be the least surprising thing ever.

Surely more people wake up in the endless grind with no future plans, travelling, holidays etc. in sight and just think "why bother with life?".
 
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