January 19, 2016

"Wow!! Remember that increasing death rate among middle-aged non-Hispanic whites?"

"It’s all about women in the south (and, to a lesser extent, women in the midwest). Amazing what can be learned just by slicing data."

32 comments:

JAORE said...

Liars, damned liars and statisticians.

These guys bother to slice and dice the data to try to find the "truth". Makes them a rare breed indeed. Most just find/manipulate/present data to prove their point.

I've told our kids always question why the starting point was selected, always look for sample size, always inspect the questions asked (carefully!) and more.

Lessons seldom applied in real life.

Sammy Finkelman said...

What's the explanation?

First of all, you actually could have two trends - something causing death rates to rise and something else (or a alot of things) causing them to go down.

They're guessing or someone is guessing the rise in mortality rates - mostly in the 1999 to 2005 period, afetr which net mortality held steady is probably due to, or related to, prescription medicines - painkillers and blood pressure meds along with suicide.

Would that be oxycodine?

Breaking down the statistics sometimes spoils the story or tells a different one.

traditionalguy said...

The men must be swallowing their wives. Either that or the sensitive women are working and do not handle Stress as well as aggressive men. Or is that the same thing?

MadisonMan said...

War against women.

(Too easy)

JCC said...

If you read the original National Academy of Sciences article, in order, poisonings (from drugs and alcohol, both accidental and intent unknown), suicide and chronic liver disease account for the rise in female mortality cited. Lung cancer actually dropped and diabetes reamined farily flat.

The highest age group for mortality in both suicide and accidental or unknown intent overdose was between 50 and 60.

So...booze and dope, and maybe prescription drugs overused.

Bob Ellison said...

JCC said, "The highest age group for mortality in both suicide and accidental or unknown intent overdose was between 50 and 60."

The suicide rate in that cohort is a mystery.

That age group, though, is also better understood and studied than most. 25-year-olds, who knows what happens? 80-year-olds, just call it natural causes. If they lived that long, they probably actually wanted to.

55-year-olds, hey, they shouldn't be killing themselves or just dying like flies. They pay more taxes! (Shout it with a Bernie Sanders voice.)

If you could get into the mind of a 23-year-old, a 56-year-old, and an 83-year-old, and replicate that with hundreds of test subjects, maybe you'd have science.

David said...

It's an immigration problem. The Northeast is sending its sick and unhealthy to us Southeasterners to care for. Then they die and we look bad and they look good. I'm proposing a fence and armed patrols.

Either that or someone is poisoning our conservative God loving southern women. It might be Yankees, or it might be the Distiller Cartel. Or are they the same?

The South shall Rise Again! (Right after we have a quick smoke and a shot or two of Jim Beam.)

Bob Ellison said...

Also, how many 55-year-olds die by driving too fast or by skiing into a tree? (Sorry.) How many 24-year-olds die through heroic, yet fatal deeds? What are the odds?

American women have a 5-year-longer lifespan than American men. How does that figure in?

David said...

From the article: "For some reason, the NYT ran a story on this the other day and didn’t age adjust, which was a mistake. Nor did they break down the data by region of the country. Too bad. Lots more people read the NYT than read this blog or even PPNAS."

Too much work for NYT or beyond their comprehension? Or both?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Oh shit, now it's a problem. A week ago it was reason for celebration (bad old white people finally dying off, old white racist hateful men are a dying breed, etc) but if we're talking about WOMEN, then, you know, sound the horn of Blue Ribbon Committeeberg, prepare to deploy the hashtags...yes we can!

Donald Douglas said...

Yes, but NYT had that piece yesterday about record young white death rates among drug abusers. It tied into the meme of the dying middle class whites, etc.

Folks better slice some more data, I guess.

coupe said...
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mccullough said...

The mortality rates for each region of women in this age group are still lower than any of region of men in this age group. But it's good to see the gap is closing. You've come a long way, baby!

Skeptical Voter said...

Figures don't lie, but the New York Times can (and does) figure.

JCC said...

I would suggest that this highest risk population - 50 to 60 years - has been living hard since their teens, and their bodies are just worn out and failing. An amount of narcotics that used to be a serious high is now a fatal OD, an all night drinking binge is enough to push the poor liver into failure, etc. That unknown intent category...

Why the Southeast? Beats me. Too much Jack Daniels and not enough Xanax? Too much meth and not enough grass? Maybe the answer is that the women in the Southeast don't die earlier in their 20's, and actually live long enough to reach the sample group.

Yeah, I know that's probably not right.

coupe said...
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Smilin' Jack said...

"Wow!! Remember that increasing death rate among middle-aged non-Hispanic whites?"
"It’s all about women in the south...."


Nice to see some good news for a change.

Fritz said...

Statistics don't lie, but liars use statistics.

Fritz said...

Bob Ellison said...

American women have a 5-year-longer lifespan than American men. How does that figure in?


And they make less money, so they have even less over their whole life. We must further decrease their lifespan! Because, equality!

Michael K said...

The authors mention "aggregation bias" and that has to be considered. I spent a year learning to do this stuff at Dartmouth in 1994-95. One method is called Small Area Analysis and is related to the data processing that elected Obama. You can take census tracts and medical information or buying "clubs" at supermarkets to whatever area you are interested. Dartmouth constructed an Atlas of Healthcare Delivery while I was there.

PNAS article was rather general and there is a lot that can be done with such data. The NY Times is not the one to do it.

Michael K said...

One simple example is obesity and diabetes Type II. Females are at increasing risk. The geographic incidence might fit that data but it needs to be drilled down using such tools as death certificates and cause of death.

Diabetes has increased substantially and diabetics died younger.

Mortality among persons with type 2 diabetes, as compared with that in the general population, varied greatly, from substantial excess risks in large patient groups to lower risks of death depending on age, glycemic control, and renal complications. (Funded by the Swedish government and others.).

That is Sweden but the statistics are similar. Small area analysis is necessary to figure out what is happening.

Oso Negro said...

Birth control pills did it. Mark it down.

Phil 3:14 said...

They told me there's be no math on this blog.

Guildofcannonballs said...

aRE you little shit huaghtls naughtin' with me?

WELL ARE YOU>>>

FUCKING BULOLCULKSHYIT

Michael K said...

Obviously, this is not the place for such a discussion.

robother said...

Florida is "the South" according to geography, at least, but it is also the epicenter of the whole distribution of Oxycontin by unscrupulous pharmacists/pain doctors. While Oxy flowed up the East Coast and into the rest of the country, I wonder if the worst addicts and/or the OD deaths were concentrated in Florida. Be interesting to see the white death rates in the counties where the worst Oxy pharmacies were located.

Paul said...

Ah... global warming?

Paul said...

OMG.. Bush, blame it on Bush!

AllenS said...

Southern Women --

"Hold my make-up, and watch this."

Peter said...


So, when does Move-On 2.0 start? "That was almost twenty years ago!" saith the crone.

mikee said...
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Matthew Blaine said...

No discussion of Southern women would be complete without input from Titus.