Research Finds That Appalachia’s Diseases of Despair Mortality Rates Continue at Disproportionately Higher Rates in Comparison to Rest of Nation
For Women, Diseases of Despair Mortality Rates in Appalachia 46 Percent Higher Than Rest of Country
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 19, 2020—Appalachian Diseases of Despair a new report from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) finds that despite overall declining mortality rates from diseases of despair (overdose, suicide, and liver disease) between 2017–2018, the Region’s diseases of despair mortality rate in 2018 was still 36 percent higher than the rate for the non-Appalachian United States. Moreover, among Appalachians in the prime working ages of 25–54, the diseases of despair mortality rate was 43 percent higher in the Region than the rest of the country. The report also found that for men ages 15-64, the diseases of despair mortality rate was 31 percent higher in the Appalachian Region than in the rest of the country; for women, however, the disparity was even larger, with the rate 46 percent higher in the Region than in the non-Appalachian United States.
“While trends revealed by this report may seem positive, the Appalachian Region still needs support,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “Researchers and policy makers rely on this important data to explore solutions to the issues we face. This report highlights why ARC’s economic development efforts are so critical when it comes to addressing issues like substance abuse.”