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Heart Disease

Researchers find causes for higher death rates among middle-aged whites

Higher-than-expected death rates among middle-aged white Americans are largely being driven by stagnant progress against heart disease and other common illnesses, according to new research into a crisis that is increasingly worrying healthcare officials and policymakers.

The unexpectedly high mortality — which sets the U.S. apart from other developed nations — has come into focus recently amid a rising toll of drug deaths and suicide.

But the new report from the New York-based Commonwealth Fund suggests that drugs and suicides are only a part...