Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Declining Life Expectancy

Although the exact causes vary, life expectancy is declining for multiple groups of Americans.

For Hispanics, overdoses and suicides are the leading causes of death.
For non-Hispanic whites, both men and women, overdoses and alcohol-related diseases appear to drive increased mortality.
For non-Hispanic black women, diabetes-related mortality is increasing.
For non-Hispanic black men, leading causes are cancer, alcohol-related diseases and external causes, such as traffic accidents
.

All of those, with the probable exception of "external causes," can be caused or exacerbated by poverty, social insecurity, and other problems indicative of a dysfunctional society.  All of the substance-abuse problems, and cancer to the extent it is caused by substances such as tobacco, relate to self-medicating to endure a miserable life.  Diabetes and cancer are much deadlier when preventive and maintenance care are difficult or impossible to obtain, and they occur disproportionately in populations with poor environmental health (e.g. next to a toxic waste dump) and diet (e.g. commodity foods, which are harmful to the point of genocide).  Suicide is the most unmistakable and irrevocable "I SAID NO" that a former citizen can give to society, and it is rising not only in oppressed groups but also seemingly "good" lives that are so stressful as to be unendurable.

A couple of groups not mentioned: Native Americans have a ruinously high death rate due to things like suicide, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and substance abuse.  Maternal and infant perinatal deaths are skyrocketing, thank you Texas and the rest of the South.  None of which is an accident.
Tags: news, safety, science
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