Several new studies show that mental health issues are rising in America, contributing to an overall decline in the quality of life, as well as an increase in premature deaths.
As reported by Axios, a study was published last week in JAMA Health Forum, a publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association, saw that in overdose deaths in the United States from 2000 to 2021, a key factor was the education levels of the victims.
Between 2019 and 2021, the overdose rate among those who didn’t attend college increased by 30.6% for every 100,000 people. Among those who did attend college, the rate increased by a much smaller 4.5% for every 100,000. In 2021, those with no college experience had overdose rates that were at least nine times higher than those who had bachelor’s degrees.
The study noted the trend’s impact on the ongoing opioid crisis, which now includes the use of fentanyl and polysubstance.
“The opioid crisis has increasingly become a crisis disproportionately impacting those without any college education,” the study determined.
Another study from JAMA Pediatrics this week focused on depression among teenagers. In 2021, 1 out of every 5 teenagers had major depressive disorder; however, less than half of those who needed treatment received any.
“It is critical to address major depression among adolescents due to the association with suicide, life expectancy, and educational and work achievement and its link to substance use and chronic physical health conditions,” the study notes.
The third and final study, published in JAMA Network Open, focused on the rates of depression and mortality among adults. This report determined that those who suffer from depression have a greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, and other similar causes. In 2020, roughly 21 million American adults – roughly 8.4% of the population – experienced at least one major depressive episode. The study also revealed that among adults with mood disorders, the onset of cardiovascular disease occurs about 7.5 years earlier than those who do not have such disorders.
The study determined that certain socio-economic factors may contribute to the connection between depression and mortality rates, including “poverty, housing instability, lower educational attainment, lower income, and lack of health insurance.”