skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, December 4, 2023

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

NH gun-safety advocates advise services, bipartisan laws after deadly shootings; Food banks, pantries address rising food insecurity during winter holidays; Despite cost debate, some MN businesses intrigued by paid-leave law.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Muslim American leaders in swing states like Michigan threaten to Abandon Biden, VP Harris criticizes greenwashing at COP28, former congresswoman Cheney calls the GOP a "threat," and George Santos is expelled.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

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
According to data by SCORE, 75% of small business owners donate an average of 6% of their profits to charitable organizations each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Small Business Saturday has come and gone and the North Carolina Sustainable Business Council urged people to keep "shopping local" this season…


Social Issues

play sound

Gun-safety advocates in New Hampshire are urging Gov. Chris Sununu to back policies proven to reduce gun violence following a series of deadly …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found the repayment process for federal student loans has been filled with errors…


Minnesota's new paid leave law, scheduled to take effect in 2026, will distribute benefits through a state-operated insurance pool funded by employers and employees. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Minnesota is two years away from enacting its new paid leave law and while the debate over costs has resurfaced, some in the small business community …

Social Issues

play sound

A lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's collective near-total bargaining ban for most public workers is by some seen as a way to bolster the state's beleagu…

The Environmental Protection Agency is working on rules that will incentivize the transition to heavy-duty electric vehicles. (VanderWolf Images/Adobestock)

play sound

As the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai wraps up, Democratic lawmakers and clean-air advocates are calling on the Environmental …

Environment

play sound

NASA-funded research using satellites to study atmospheric nitrogen will examine how different farming approaches affect greenhouse gas emissions…

play sound

The American Gas Association misled the public on the health effects of burning gas for decades. Now, a coalition wants the Washington State …

 

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