Mortality rates increased significantly among non-Hispanic white men and women in the United States aged 45 to 54 years between 1999 and 2013, according to a study published online ahead of print November 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Suicide, drug and alcohol poisoning, and chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis were the main causes of death. Analyzing data from the CDC and other sources, Anne Case, PhD, and Angus Deaton, PhD, found that the mortality rate for middle-aged white Americans in the United States increased by 0.5% each year. 

Before that, from 1978 to 1998, the mortality rate for this population decreased by an average of 2% every year, which is similar to the rate of decline found in France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and countries in the European Union. After 1998, the mortality rates in other rich countries continued to decline at approximately 2% each year, the authors said.

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