Monday, November 2, 2015

Why do Middle-aged White Americans Keep Dying?

All across the world people are living longer.  With one notable exception.  White American men and women in their middle decades  (USW, see below)

And what are they dying of?  Basically misery,  Specifically medical complications from the use of alcohol or drugs, and suicide. Which begs the question of just what white people in their mid-forties to mid-fifties are so damn miserable about?

It seems to be a patchwork of increased prescription of opioid drugs, an disproportionate tendency to respond to stress with suicide, which has a bigger impact in those with no more than a high school education, and reaches a crisis in mid-life. All of which sounds like an explanation until you consider that each of these risks should apply to all races in America, and to the white people in other countries shown on the graph above.

Is it then that white people, used to a position of considerable privilege in the US, have not developed the culture of resilience, and so are disproportionately vulnerable when facing the middle-life crisis of the new millennium on an increasing level playing field?

2 comments:

Nobilis Reed said...

If that were true, you'd expect it to be more true of men than women.

Is that what we see? I don't know, this is the first I've seen of this phenomenon.

Emily Veinglory said...

It's pretty baffling, really. When I get back in the office I am going to get a copy of the actual data report -- it is dangerous to only work from media reports