For later reading: I assumed the increase in middle aged southern whites was due to male drug use (narcotic overdoses etc)
But via AnnAlthouse: this statistical blog notes: The increase is actually in women
First they note that the cohort differs: different demographics....
the higher death rate is probably from poverty, but why the increase in women?
yes, there is narcotic/drug/meth abuse in women, but is it high enough to show on the graphs?
Maybe obesity/heart disease/ Diabetic complications?
check comment from Sarang, who links to this article on AmericanProspect:
poverty and lack of a high school diploma are clues to the increased death rate...obesity, lack of social support/marriage, lack of a job. Teen motherhood...Increase in smoking behavior is another link.
and of course, no local doc who knows you and makes sure you are taken care of...one lady went to the ER and was sent home because they didn't screen for heart disease. Without continuity of care, you miss stuff...
In other words, things we docs see all the time.
My question: why only southern white women, when we see this in black, Native Americans, and northerners too...
I suspect the problem is found in all of the above, but is attributed to drugs or diabetes.