Bill Clinton: White Americans Without H.S. Diplomas Are 'Dying of a Broken Heart’

By Eric Scheiner | December 10, 2012 | 1:14pm EST

Former President Bill Clinton (AP Photo)

( - Former President Bill Clinton told a group of pharmacists in Las Vegas on Dec. 3 that white Americans who lack high school diplomas, and who have seen their life expectancy diminish in recent years, are "dying of a broken heart."

“They could have said these people are dying of a broken heart,” Clinton told the American Society of Health System Pharmacists. “Because they’re the people that were raised to believe the American Dream would be theirs if they worked hard and their children will have a chance to do better--and their dreams were dashed disproportionally to the population as the whole.”

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Clinton was discussing a New York Times article on a study about the life expectancy of whites in the United States, which noted that life expectancy had risen steadily for all groups except non-Hispanic whites without a high school degree.

“The article, again written as a health care article, said there were three major causes," said Clinton. "One is--in this group only--a big increase in smoking and more among women than men- it seemed to account for the differential. Second, a big increase in obesity and its attendant consequences. Even though the obesity levels were still high among Hispanics and African Americans. And third, a larger than average increase in mortality from prescription drug overdoses or other misuses.”

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