Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Regarding Mortality

From the July 2003 issue of Discover magazine:
  • From birth- 44 years, accidents are the leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Included under the definition of accident:unintentional injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and medical errors.
  • More people die due to medical errors than from breast cancer, car wrecks, or AIDS.
  • Pretty scary thought, eh? We have pink ribbons and mammogram advisories, AIDS education, benefits, research, and so on, and mothers against drunk driving, but no (well, none to my knowledge) organized attempt by the [public at large to curb goof-ups on the part of our doctors.
  • In fact, I think it's safe to say that most of us trust our doctors implicitly. If we DO dare to question our doctor's judgement, we can expect to be shot down with a cold stare or an arrogant answer.
  • Yet, from reading non-fictional accounts written by interns, residents, and medical doctors, it's quite clear that they're all too aware of their own shortcomings. Therefore, it strikes me as a bit odd that some/many of them will hardly let you get a word in edgewise, even if it's information that they might need to take into consideration in order to make an educated decision.

Moving Along Here.....
  • Congenital defects strike us down in a noticeable way until we hit, say 24 and older. Perhaps it actually makes a good bit of sense to marry late, thereby ensuring longevity for your offspring.
  • The real MONSTER is heart disease, the leading cause of death of all Americans, 29.6% of us. One in four...almost one in three.
  • In women aged 25 or older, heart disease kills more of us than breast cancer or stroke combined.
  • Even in your youth, ages 15-24 (both genders) it's still the fifth leading cause of death.
  • After 75, it's #1.
  • Cancer's another ugly one, just second to heart disease at 23% of all deaths.
More on this later.......

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