What's killing Donald Trump's voters?
That's my reaction to the highly disturbing health news that two Princeton economists have uncovered about a key slice of the billionaire presidential candidate's support base.
Since 1999, middle-aged white Americans with a high school diploma or less education have been dying in record numbers, according to Angus Deaton (a winner this year of a Nobel Prize) and his wife, Anne Case.
For example, the mortality rate for non-college-educated whites 45 to 54 years old increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014. By comparison, the death rate for middle-aged blacks and Hispanics continued to fall steadily during the same period, as did the death rates for younger and older people of all races and ethnic groups.
Death rates for middle-aged, non-college whites in other wealthy countries also declined.
And the rate for middle-aged Hispanics is far lower than for middle-aged whites at 270 per 100,000.