Friday, November 29, 2019

US Life Expectancy Began Decreasing After 2014

In 2008, life expectancy was reported as continuing to increase for Americans despite declining longevity for the most impoverished economic groups - especially poor women living in the south:
Brown, David. (2008, June 12). By David Brown Life Expectancy Hits Record High in United States. The Washington Post,
Americans' life expectancy reached a record high of 78.1 years in 2006, with disparities among ethnic groups and between the sexes generally narrowing, according to government data released yesterday.

The death rates from most diseases went down, with influenza mortality falling steeply and AIDS mortality marking its 10th straight year of decline. Infant mortality in 2006 also fell from the previous year, continuing a trend stretching back nearly 50 years.

"This report has a lot of good news," said Melonie P. Heron, a demographer at the National Center for Health Statistics who compiled and analyzed the data drawn from death certificates filed with each state and the District. The favorable trends appear to contradict reports of shortening life spans in some Americans, specifically women living in rural parts of the South and Midwest. The new report, however, did not examine mortality at that level of detail. The two trends -- overall national improvement, with certain subgroups doing worse -- are not incompatible, experts noted

That trend was reversed with evidence locating the period of reversal starting in 2014:
Steven H. Woolf & Heidi Schoomaker (2019, November 26). Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates in the United States, 1959-201. JAMA. 2019;322(20):1996-2016. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.16932


Importance US life expectancy has not kept pace with that of other wealthy countries and is now decreasing.

Objective To examine vital statistics and review the history of changes in US life expectancy and increasing mortality rates; and to identify potential contributing factors, drawing insights from current literature and an analysis of state-level trends.

Evidence Life expectancy data for 1959-2016 and cause-specific mortality rates for 1999-2017 were obtained from the US Mortality Database and CDC WONDER, respectively. The analysis focused on midlife deaths (ages 25-64 years), stratified by sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geography (including the 50 states). Published research from January 1990 through August 2019 that examined relevant mortality trends and potential contributory factors was examined.

Findings Between 1959 and 2016, US life expectancy increased from 69.9 years to 78.9 years but declined for 3 consecutive years after 2014.

The recent decrease in US life expectancy culminated a period of increasing cause-specific mortality among adults aged 25 to 64 years that began in the 1990s, ultimately producing an increase in all-cause mortality that began in 2010.

During 2010-2017, midlife all-cause mortality rates increased from 328.5 deaths/100 000 to 348.2 deaths/100 000.

By 2014, midlife mortality was increasing across all racial groups, caused by drug overdoses, alcohol abuse, suicides, and a diverse list of organ system diseases. The largest relative increases in midlife mortality rates occurred in New England (New Hampshire, 23.3%; Maine, 20.7%; Vermont, 19.9%) and the Ohio Valley (West Virginia, 23.0%; Ohio, 21.6%; Indiana, 14.8%; Kentucky, 14.7%). The increase in midlife mortality during 2010-2017 was associated with an estimated 33 307 excess US deaths, 32.8% of which occurred in 4 Ohio Valley states.

Conclusions and Relevance US life expectancy increased for most of the past 60 years, but the rate of increase slowed over time and life expectancy decreased after 2014. A major contributor has been an increase in mortality from specific causes (eg, drug overdoses, suicides, organ system diseases) among young and middle-aged adults of all racial groups, with an onset as early as the 1990s and with the largest relative increases occurring in the Ohio Valley and New England. The implications for public health and the economy are substantial, making it vital to understand the underlying causes.
What changed between 2007 and 2014?

There are several environmental changes that are prime suspects in my opinion:
  • Worsening economic inequality after the great recession with impacts on psychological health and access to medical care.
  • Increased fracking with all of the air and water pollution that goes with it. Note that in 2019 the EPA declined to regulate waste from fracking in the Ohio Valley despite grave concerns about impacts (here). The Ohio valley is an area with notably declining longevity.
  • Fukushima - which blanketed the US with radioactive waste through contaminated precipitation. 

I believe that in the absence of radical and progressive change, the declining longevity will continue to be a largely unacknowledged problem in the US as the health of the population no longer matters to government policy makers.

We are post-biopolitical. We are now ruled by Thanatos.

Welcome to the [protracted] eco-apocalypse.


Post I:  Report Contains Numbers of Fuel Assemblies at Fukushima as of March 2010:

Post II: How Much Radiation Is At Issue: Cesium 137 in Spent Fuel Pool 4:

Time to Wake Up Overview of Fukushima disaster: Majia's Blog: TIME TO WAKE UP
Assembling information about reactors in Japan Majia's Blog: ASSEMBLING INFORMATION ABOUT JAPAN ...


Radnet data Majia's Blog: Phoenix EPA Data Showed 700 CPM Beta Yesterday

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Fukushima Daiichi Looks Bad

Compare these screenshots.

The first screenshot is from 11/20/2019:

According to Acuweather here, on November 20th the temperature was a high of 46 and a low of 38 (top screenshot).

The second screenshot is from today:

The heavy "fog/steam" declined quickly over a 30 minute period as I watched.

Today (bottom screenshot) the weather is reported as a high of 65 and a low of 45. At the time the screenshot was taken today it was reported to be 54 degrees.

I don't know whether the weather conditions can explain the unusually high "fog/steam" visible on the cams today.

Let us hope its only weather and not something worse.