Apparently, in the USA at least, death rates rise during periods of economic expansion and fall during economic downturns. I don’t know whether this holds in the UK as well. One possible reason for this is that when people feel well off they eat and drink more (and more unhealthily). Another is that people drive [...] Read more
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Following the micromort, a 1-in-a-million chance of sudden death, we now have the microlife, which is 30 minutes off your life expectancy. Both micromorts and microlives are good units for comparing risks: Here are some things that would, on average, cost a 30-year-old man 1 microlife: Smoking 2 cigarettes Drinking 7 units of alcohol (eg 2 pints [...] Read more
Cause of death statistics are notoriously unreliable, for several reasons. Most notably, most of the information comes from death certificates, which only have space for a single cause. Often, there are a number of factors which together resulted in the death, and it’s rather random which cause is chosen, and which manifestation of it: proximate, [...] Read more
Another good blog post from Understanding Uncertainty: for once not based on a howler from the British press. Instead, it’s based on a howler from the German press – High suicide rate in German forces serving abroad – every fifth soldier takes his own life. They actually meant to say one in five of deaths among [...] Read more