A new report indicates that there is a new top killer for young, white adults. While the death rate for many causes of death has plummeted in recent years, one cause is drastically rising.
Drug overdoses, spurred by a resurgence in heroin use among young, white adults is now the top killer of that demographic according to the New York Times.
According to the report:
The Times analyzed nearly 60 million death certificates collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1990 to 2014. It found death rates for non-Hispanic whites either rising or flattening for all the adult age groups under 65 — a trend that was particularly pronounced in women — even as medical advances sharply reduce deaths from traditional killers like heart disease. Death rates for blacks and most Hispanic groups continued to fall.
The analysis shows that the rise in white mortality extends well beyond the 45- to 54-year-old age group documented by a pair of Princeton economists in a research paper that startled policy makers and politicians two months ago.
While the death rate among young whites rose for every age group over the five years before 2014, it rose faster by any measure for the less educated, by 23 percent for those without a high school education, compared with only 4 percent for those with a college degree or more.
The numbers are drastic. The report indicates that drug overdose numbers in the demographic are 25-35 times higher than the late 1990’s.
Some experts say that current graph of drug overdose deaths resembles the spread of deadly, infectious virus, affecting more and more people.