Premature deaths from suicide, alcohol and drug overdoses have reached an all-time high, and US states are losing weight, according to a report from the Commonwealth Fund, a health advocacy group.
The report provides a status scorecard based on 47 different metrics, including mortality rates, access to healthcare, quality of care, obesity, and smoking.
"We've found that each of these causes affects states very differently," said David Radley, chief scientist at the Commonwealth Fund and lead author of the report, to ABC News.
Although the report found regional differences, Radley said, "We do not know exactly why people in some parts of the country are more susceptible to one form of lethal behavior over another."
Alcohol-related deaths and suicide overwhelmingly affect Western countries, while New England, the Mid-Atlantic states and the Southeastern states report more deaths from drug overdose, he said. The abuse of opioids and the rise of fatal synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have fueled this crisis.
West Virginia was hit hardest, "as it had the highest death rate in 201
In 2017, US average life expectancy fell by about 0.1 to 78.6 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The decline was mainly due to a steady increase in deaths from overdoses and suicides.
US. According to the CDC, deaths from overdose due to opioids such as fentanyl increased by more than 45 percent between 2016 and 2017. Between 1999 and 2017, there were more than 702,000 overdose deaths, of which 10% occurred in 2017.
Regardless, according to the CDC, suicide rates rose about 2 percent per year between 2006 and 2017.
In the meantime, many countries' progress has stalled in the expansion of health insurance coverage and access following the adoption of the Affordable Supply Act, and in some states access has even deteriorated. As Radley explained, "health insurance creates a channel" that gives people access to care and "reduces the financial burden of receiving care when you need it".
States with the lowest score on the scorecard also reported the highest rates of uninsured.
According to the report, costs are a major cause of lower coverage of health insurance coverage and access, especially in the context of slower income growth. Rising costs for private health insurance and high deductibles are associated with fewer insured persons.
These healthcare costs also affect those who have insurance, "especially for those who have health insurance through their employer," Radley said. As stated in the report, families pay more but receive less.
"The bottom line is that health insurance provides the foundation for many of the services needed to combat the crisis, including access to the opioid reversal drug naloxone, treatment of drug disorders and psychiatric services," says Hayes. Radley adds: "Access to health care is the foundation of a strong health system."
The report concludes that states need to take responsibility and work with federal agencies to deliver effective long-term solutions.
Eden David is an aspiring senior at Columbia University specializing in neuroscience, enrolling in the Faculty of Medicine in 2020 and working for ABC News Medical Unit.