It may also be worth checking how diagnostic criteria, medical industry revenue and the number of people with medical insurance changed over time. A friend of mine (I’ve heard it from other doctors as well) complains that her patients bring blood tests with numbers that used to be borderline normal, now those people are told that they are pre-diabetic just from one test. She has over 40 years experience in the field and doesn’t think it’s right. Cancer diagnostics could’ve got better (cancer death declining means more cases are found early hence the perceived increase in cancer incidence) or generate more false positives. The prescription drug use could’ve gone up because more people got medical insurance, started to use more services, doctors prescribe more for non-diseases and because of better marketing. It’s a for profit industry which is interested to sell more. I also wonder if there is any inverse correlation between suicide rates and labor force participation. Were there any changes in food stamp program eligibility criteria?