skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Conservationists tout Indiana's old mines and brownfields to develop renewable energy; Louisiana becomes 1st state to require the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools; Black Hills Visitor Center under new joint tribal, federal oversight; Judge set to rule on massive MT logging project.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Former President Donald Trump says he loves Milwaukee, civil rights groups reject designated protest zones for the RNC convention and a New York Equal Rights Amendment is restored to the November ballot.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

Report: 'Diseases of Despair' Take Lives of Appalachian Women

play audio
Play

Friday, December 11, 2020   

PIKEVILLE, Ky. - A new report says women ages 35 to 44 in Appalachia are dying of drug overdose, suicide and alcoholic liver disease at rates 69% higher than women in the rest of the nation.

For those ages 25 to 34, the rate is almost that high.

The Appalachian Regional Commission report on so-called "diseases of despair" is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from 2018, but researchers say financial, child care, and mental-health struggles due to the pandemic will likely worsen the situation.

Wendy Wasserman, director of communications for the Commission, said this public-health crisis is closely tied to economic development.

"One of the reasons that we've been looking at this is because overdose, suicide, and liver disease are taking a disproportionate impact on prime working age," said Wasserman. "That, by definition, impacts economic potential."

Among men ages 35 to 44, the report says the 'diseases of despair' mortality rate is 50% higher in Appalachia than the rest of the U.S.

Wasserman said boosting mental-health and substance-abuse resources, and transportation for working-age people in the region, is even more critical as the pandemic stretches into next year.

In Kentucky, these mortality rates were 21% higher overall than in non-Appalachian states. Since 2017 in general, rates of overdose, suicide and liver disease have trended downward in the 13 states that make up the Appalachian region.

But Wasserman said there's no guarantee that will continue.

"What we did see is that that disparity was narrowing," said Wasserman. "But again, the pandemic has been such a huge disrupter in everything, that we don't know until we look at the data in another year or two."

Wasserman said she believes the COVID-19 crisis could spur innovative efforts to combat decades of economic stagnation and job loss.

"I am hoping that one of the unintended consequences of the pandemic is creative interventions," said Wasserman. "We've all have to be more creative again - in our personal lives, in our professional lives. The economy needs to be more creative. People need to rise to the occasion to be able to survive."

The report also says compared to the rest of the nation, Appalachian residents continue to face stark disparities in educational attainment, employment and income.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reported power plant pollution exacerbates asthma, creates new asthma cases, causes heart attacks and is the largest airborne emission of mercury. (TomKonrad/Wikimedia Commons)

play sound

Danskammer Energy is no longer seeking an expansion of its Newburgh plant. The original plan called for expanding the company's "peaker plant" meant …


Social Issues

play sound

The Black Hills National Forest is one of the latest federal lands to enter a co-stewardship agreement with local tribal nations-a management model en…

Social Issues

play sound

It is the first day of summer and time for a global event called the "World's Largest Swimming Lesson." Albuquerque's West Mesa Aquatic Center will o…


To participate in Mississippi's work-release program, individuals must be within two years of their release date and have not had disciplinary action within the last 12 months. (Tjshot/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Mississippi's pilot work-release program for incarcerated individuals has been extended to three years. The program allows qualified participants to …

Environment

play sound

Today is the summer solstice, the day of the year with the most sunshine, and Indiana conservationists said they have a plan to make the best use of …

In 2023, Arkansas' Farm to School Kitchen Equipment Grant Program increased the capacity to process and serve more specialty crops to students through the school cafeteria. (Cheangchai/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

School children in Arkansas are learning how to grow their own fruits and vegetables through the Farm to School and Early Childhood Education program …

Environment

play sound

A Michigan nonprofit dedicated to keeping oil out of the Great Lakes is celebrating a major victory. A federal Appellate Court has ruled that …

Social Issues

play sound

On the heels of its primary election, North Dakota has received a "fair" grade in an annual report examining voting laws for each state. The …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021