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  #81  
Old 02-10-2015, 12:38 PM
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Eddie Smith
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The thing about measles in particular is that, having gotten the measles back in the mid-20th century, my husband and I have a hard time thinking of it as a "dread disease." In those days, polio really was dreaded.
Yes, that's a whole other dimension with the measles story. On a grander time scale, measles incidence flat lines effectively at 0% once the vaccine coverage really hit critical mass in the 2nd half of the 20th century, except for an uptick in the late 1980s.

As you allude to in the 1950s-60s era with respect to measles vs other diseases of the time, even today, we have a heck of a lot more to worry about at the present time in the US than measles at every single age cohort on the mortality curve.
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  #82  
Old 02-10-2015, 03:59 PM
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As you allude to in the 1950s-60s era with respect to measles vs other diseases of the time, even today, we have a heck of a lot more to worry about at the present time in the US than measles at every single age cohort on the mortality curve.
People don't remember these diseases and are no longer afraid of them. Makes me think of a quote from LOTR. (Frodo plays the anti-vaxer, Aragorn plays the physician recommending a vaccine.)

Aragorn: Are you frightened?
Frodo: Yes.
Aragorn: Not nearly frightened enough. I know what hunts you.
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  #83  
Old 02-10-2015, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by JMO View Post
The thing about measles in particular is that, having gotten the measles back in the mid-20th century, my husband and I have a hard time thinking of it as a "dread disease." In those days, polio really was dreaded.
It probably depended on how hard it hit you.

Stu got it so bad he was hospitalized, iirc.

Of course, he got the measles after there was a polio vaccine, but before the measles vaccine.
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  #84  
Old 02-10-2015, 09:30 PM
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I got mumps and chicken pox. Was vaccinated for polio, small pox, measles & German measles. Also vaccinated for whooping cough, but it wore off, and I caught whooping cough when I lived in NYC.

Most people survive all of those. (Well, maybe not small pox.) They are still nasty, and can have serious consequences.
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  #85  
Old 03-05-2015, 03:46 PM
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This is a new trend to me.....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...g-white-women-

Quote:
White women in the U.S. have historically enjoyed low mortality rates. But in recent years, the death rate for adult white women 15 to 54 years old has increased even as the rates for black and Hispanic women have declined, according to a new analysis from the Urban Institute.

Here's a closer look at the death rate for white women from 1999 to 2013, drawn by Urban Institute researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vital-statistics database.
Wait a sec:



Is this age-adjusted? Could this just be an effect of white women "aging"?



This is the claim:

Quote:
Part of the jump in the death rate for whites is explained by the epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse and overdoses that disproportionately affected whites. But that accounts for only half the total increase, according to the report. Other causes of death on the rise include suicide and respiratory disease. Some declined, including traffic deaths, homicides, and the cancers most closely linked to smoking.

Though overdose deaths among blacks also increased, the rise was smaller. And overall mortality for black women fell dramatically, with declines in deaths from cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, and cancers, among other causes.

Each of these broad racial and ethnic categories is a big group, with different social and geographic circumstances. So the analysis doesn't mean "that death rates are rising for all white women, everywhere in the U.S.," notes the Urban Institute, a Washington, DC, think tank. Other research has shown that longevity is decreasing for poorer and less-educated white women.

We don't have enough evidence to tell whether the increase is a temporary one linked to painkiller abuse or if it's a long-term shift. The authors cite examples of other short-term spikes in mortality. Deaths increased for black women in the U.S. during the crack epidemic. For Russian men, death rates linked to alcoholism are still high but appear to be declining.
Death rates for Russian men are incredibly high, by the way:
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  #86  
Old 03-10-2015, 10:21 AM
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According to a recent audit, there are 6.5 million active SSNs for people age 112 or older. Are we ending the mortality table too early?

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  #87  
Old 03-10-2015, 12:56 PM
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That is an interesting article on SSN and the potential for fraud. I'm curious though - the SS actuaries know how to adjust this for their mortality studies - they cross check against Medicare, and if there were no claims for the prior year or three, that is a pretty good indicator that the person is deceased. This seems like a good idea for the claims payers to adopt as well!
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Old 03-10-2015, 02:02 PM
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From the appendix of the Urban Institute report in MPC post, and answering her pointed question about aging (my bolding):

We then standardized the death rates for 2011 to the 2000 population of women ages 15 to 54. The age distribution of women in this age range had shifted to older ages in 2011, which could have caused an artificial finding of higher death rates.

Wow. The whole paper is potentially a crock. The lead is on the faculty at Johns Hopkins. Two of the authors are apparently demographers. That they admit their findings may be spurious, but don't do the research to readily accept or reject their main findings, is very unprofessional to say the least.

http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/200...s-15-to-54.pdf

Which leads me to my main point. I've determined I'm immortal. I'm pretty sure I've never died. (Well, it's not really my main point, but I wanted to throw that in there. Seems are credible as that report.)

Last edited by Guilty Bystander; 03-10-2015 at 02:07 PM..
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  #89  
Old 03-10-2015, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Numbers Nerd View Post
That is an interesting article on SSN and the potential for fraud. I'm curious though - the SS actuaries know how to adjust this for their mortality studies - they cross check against Medicare, and if there were no claims for the prior year or three, that is a pretty good indicator that the person is deceased. This seems like a good idea for the claims payers to adopt as well!
Isn't there a SS master death file? Seems almost inconceivable that someone wouldn't cross check that with active SSNs. Of course, any kind of smell test would tell you 6.5 million people over age 112 aren't going to be alive. I'm guessing no one even looked at the numbers.
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  #90  
Old 04-07-2015, 01:45 PM
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PERSONALITY
http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2015/04/...affDailyDigest

Quote:
Your friends may know you better than you know yourself. Personality traits you display in your 20s hold clues to how long you’ll live – and your friends can judge these traits better than you, researchers report in the journal Psychological Science.

“Friends are better predictors of your longevity than you are,” says Madeleine Leveille, adjunct professor of psychology at UConn’s Avery Point campus. Or at least they have more insight into your personality traits.

Using personality data from a study that was begun in 1935, a team of researchers including Leveille found that men rated highly conscientious, as determined from the averaged reports of five close friends, lived longer than men rated as less so. For women, agreeableness and emotional stability were associated with longer lifespans. The effects of these personality traits were quite clear – as strong as the correlation between smoking and lung cancer, says Jim Connolly, a forensic psychologist who co-authored the paper.

The researchers don’t know why conscientiousness is so strongly linked with longevity in men. It may be that men who are conscientious are more likely to exercise and eat well and avoid risky behavior. For women, agreeableness and emotional stability may allow them to avoid the negative health consequences of depression and anger.

It may also have had something to do with the times during which the study subjects lived, Connolly says. The women of this generation would have come of age during the 1920s and been young wives just as the Great Depression began who did not work outside the home, in order to preserve jobs for men. During the war years of the early 1940s, this all changed; the women would have been expected to go to work and manage households of children at the same time. And then during the late 1940s, they would have been under social pressure to leave the paid workforce to be housewives again. A flexible, agreeable personality might have been helpful in cushioning the many changes these women lived through.

.....
Psychologists have known that personality traits have some effect on life span, but this was the first study to show such a strong, unambiguous connection. The key difference between this study and others is the use of personality assessments done by close friends, instead of by the participants themselves.

......
Jackson brought his expertise in statistical analysis to the team, and also his relative youth – Connolly and Leveille plan eventually to turn over custody of the data set to him so he can take it into the next generation, getting in touch with children of the original participants. They hope to track the effects of personality traits and divorce into the second and third generations.

The study is one of the longest-running ever to link personality and mortality. It was begun in 1935 by E. Lowell Kelly, a professor of psychology at UConn at the time. Kelly was primarily interested in how personality affected divorce rates. But the detailed data on personality allowed Kelly and the researchers he collaborated with to subsequently look at other ways personality may influence a person’s life.

I love these longitudinal studies.
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