More white, Native Americans succumbing early, analyse says

( CNN) Premature death is on the rise for Native and white Americans in the United States, with narcotic overdose and suicide contributing heavily to the increase, according to a new study.

“What astonished me the most was the size of the increase, ” said Meredith Shiels, an researcher with the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. Shiels was lead author of the study, published Wednesday in the publication The Lancet .