Thursday, February 18, 2016

What is Causing an Escalation in England's Death Rate and the US Maternal Death Rate??

Why are death rates rising in developed economies?

Austerity causes biggest rise in England’s death rate since WWII – health expert. RT, February 16, 2016, Published time: 16 Feb, 2016 15:23

Preliminary figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate mortality rates in 2015 rose by 5.4 percent on 2014 - an increase of nearly 27,000 deaths, bringing the total to 528,340.

Death rates in England and Wales had been falling since the 1970s, but this trend reversed in 2011 when mortality rates started rising.Health advisers are now saying the rising death rate could be caused by cuts to vital social services

Latest data at the CDC for US mortality is from 2013 so no direct comparison with England's data is available there:

However, CNN reported recently that maternal mortality starting rising in the US in 2011:
Kelly Wallace, "Why is the maternal mortality rate going up in the United States?" CNN, December 11, 2015,
An increasing mortality rate for American mothers in 2015? How could that be?

First, the numbers: More than 25 years ago, in 1987, there were 7.2 deaths of mothers per 100,000 live births in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2011, that number more than doubled, jumping to 17.8 deaths per 100,000 births.

Death rates for middle-aged white populations in the US are also rising, although this trend has been attributed to increased abuse of prescription drugs:
Kimberly Leonard, "What Reports About White People Dying Missed," US News November 13, 2015,
Written by Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton, the report found mortality rates for whites began rising in 1999 and continued to do so through 2013. The rise was driven by drug and alcohol overdoses, suicide, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.... The authors presented their data without directly stating the root cause for the destructive behaviors they identified as driving the trend, though they noted the prevalence of opioid use the U.S. has seen. They noted as well that a large group of people report difficulties with pain, which can lead them to take prescription painkillers or place them at risk of suicide. Prescription drugs, conversely, can make pain worse as their effects begin to diminish, and also have the potential to invoke suicidal thoughts. They additionally can be a gateway to illegal drugs such as heroin.

Although austerity, increased poverty, and drug use may very likely impact mortality rates, one has to wonder whether Fukushima and other rapidly escalating sources of environmental contamination are also contributing factors. Daiichi continues to spit out emissions, including quite a few sparks recently: