David Introcaso in Stat News:
The term deaths of despair comes from Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton, who set out to understand what accounted for falling U.S. life expectancies. They learned that the fastest rising death rates among Americans were from drug overdoses, suicide, and alcoholic liver disease. Deaths from these causes have increased between 56% and 387%, depending on the age cohort, over the past two decades, averaging 70,000 per year.
Case and Deaton learned that these deaths disproportionately occurred in white men who had not earned college degrees. In their 2020 book, “Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism,” they argued that a key driver of these deaths is economic misery.