skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, September 25, 2023

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

Nevada organization calls for greater Latino engagement in politics; Gov. Gavin Newsom appears to change course on transgender rights; Nebraska Tribal College builds opportunity 'pipelines,' STEM workforce.'

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

House Republicans deadlock over funding days before the government shuts down, a New Deal-style jobs training program aims to ease the impacts of climate change, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas appeared at donor events for the right-wing Koch network.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

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
Lawmakers and environmental groups celebrate creation of the American Climate Corps. It's part of the Biden administration's Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that have been overburdened by pollution. (Office of Sen. Ed Markey)

Environment

play sound

A new federal jobs program aims to mobilize tens of thousands of young Americans to address the growing threats of climate change. The American …


Social Issues

play sound

Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago says its student body and campus are growing - and so are its options for people to study in STEM fields…

Health and Wellness

play sound

By Nathalia Teixeira for Kent State News Lab.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration…


The Biden administration recently announced that Medicare will soon begin to negotiate prices for up to 60 drugs covered under Medicare Parts 'D' and 'B,' through a new program under the Inflation Reduction Act. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Maine's new Office of Affordable Health Care holds its first public hearing this week, and people are being strongly encouraged to participate…

Social Issues

play sound

The number of children locked behind bars in Alabama has declined, but their advocates said more needs to be done to create alternatives to …

Environment

play sound

Scientists at Purdue University have been experimenting to create adhesives designed to be easier on the environment. So many products from …

Social Issues

play sound

It's Hispanic Heritage Month, and one Nevada organization wants Latinos to realize the power they can have when they are more politically engaged…

 

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