Midlife death rate up more for U.S. white women

focus_group_3-1024x878Source: Andrew Gelman.

Last week I posted my thoughts about a study indicating a rising death rate among white American men age 45 to 54. Statistics expert Andrew Gelman writes that, if you make an apples-to-apples comparison, it is white American women we should be most concerned about.

He said the study did not take into account that the composition of the age 45 to 54 age group changed from 1999 to 2013. There was a higher proportion of white Americans in their early 50s and fewer in their late 40s.

If you make an age-adjusted comparison—45-year-olds to 45-year-olds, 46-year-olds to 46-year-olds and so on—the chart above shows what the trend looks like over time.

The age-adjusted death rate for middle-aged white American men is in fact higher than in 1999, but Gelman said it is white American women age 52 and under that should be the main concern.

LINKS

Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century by Anne Case and Angus Deaton of Princeton University.

Death rates have been increasing for middle-aged white women, decreasing for men by Andrew Gelman for Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference and Social Science.

Correcting statistical biases in “Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century”. We need to adjust for the increase in the average age of people in the 45-54 age category by Andrew Gelman for Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference and Social Science.  (Hat tip to Mike the Mad Biologist)

To Understand Climbing Death Rates Among Whites, Look to Women of Childbearing Age by Laudan Aron, Lisa Debray, Elaine Waxman and Steven Martin for Health Affairs Blog.  (Hat tip to naked capitalism)

More American White Women Are Dying Prematurely by Stephanie Mencimer for Mother Jones.

What’s Killing Poor White Women? by Monica Potts for American Prospect (2013)

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