Looking at ‘deaths of despair’

Here's an interesting health story — the Associated Press reported last week that "Middle-age white Americans with limited education are increasingly dying younger, on average, than other middle-age U.S. adults, a trend driven by their dwindling economic opportunities, research by two Princeton University economists has found.

OPINION: A view of standardized tests from a father and a school leader.

“The economists, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, argue that the loss of steady middle-income jobs for those with only high school diplomas or less has triggered broad problems for this group. They are more likely than their college-educated counterparts, for example, to be unemployed, unmarried or afflicted with poor health. ‘This is a story of the collapse of the white working class,’ Deaton said. ‘The labor market has very much turned against them.’”

"Since 1999, white men and women ages 45 through 54 have endured a sharp increase in 'deaths of despair,'" Case and Deaton found in their earlier work. These include suicides, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related deaths such as liver failure," the AP reported.

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