Midlife Mortality Higher in U.S. Than Other High-Income Countries

Not to the extent of the United States, but midlife deaths are worsening in the United Kingdom as well
Midlife Mortality Higher in U.S. Than Other High-Income Countries
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

TUESDAY, April 16, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Working-age adults in the United States are dying at higher rates than their peers in high-income countries, according to a study published online March 21 in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Jennifer Beam Dowd, Ph.D., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues synthesized cause-specific mortality trends in midlife (25 to 64 years) for the United States; United Kingdom; 13 high-income countries in Western Europe, Australia, Canada, and Japan; and seven Central and Eastern European countries (1990 to 2019).

The researchers found that U.S. midlife mortality rates have worsened since 1990 for deaths related to drugs, alcohol, suicide, and metabolic, nervous system, respiratory, and infectious/parasitic diseases. There was a decline in deaths due to homicide, transport accidents, and cardiovascular diseases since 1990, although there have been recent increases or stalling of improvements. Comparatively, midlife mortality increased in the United Kingdom for people aged 45 to 54 years and in Canada, Poland, and Sweden for those aged 25 to 44 years.

"Over the past three decades midlife mortality in the United States has worsened significantly compared to other high-income countries, and for the younger 25- to 44-year-old age group in 2019 it even surpassed midlife mortality rates for Central and Eastern European countries," coauthor Katarzyna Doniec, Ph.D., also from University of Oxford, said in a statement. "This is surprising, given that not so long ago some of these countries experienced high levels of working-age mortality, resulting from the post-socialist crisis of the 1990s."

Abstract/Full Text

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