Trends in Midlife Mortality in the UK and Canada: Is the United States an Anomaly?

Jennifer B. Dowd , King's College London
Anna Zajacova, University of Western Ontario

Decreases in life expectancy (LE) in the U.S. have continued for a 2nd year, with increases in “deaths of despair” heavily implicated in both scholarly and popular explanations for these trends. Whether similar trends are occurring in different social and economic contexts is not known. The increases in mortality in the US have been focused in middle-aged Whites. LE may be leveling off in the UK and Canada, however little is known about the trends mid-life mortality or trends in “despair” deaths. This paper uses vital statistics to describe mortality trends in the UK and Canada from 2000-2016 by cause of death and age/gender subgroups to compare how trends in “despair” deaths vs. metabolic conditions compares across countries, especially in mid-life where mortality increases have been most noticeable in the U.S. These comparisons will provide insight and generate hypotheses for the social and biological mechanisms underlying these trends in mortality.

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 Presented in Session 22. Deaths and Diseases of Despair