August 18, 2013

The Top Ten List

Today's TOP TEN leading causes of death in the US are...
  • Heart disease: 597,689      (24.2%)
  • Cancer: 574,743      (23.3%)
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080      (5.6%)
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476      (5.2%)
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859      (4.9%)
  • Alzheimer's disease: 83,494      (3.4%)
  • Diabetes: 69,071      (2.8%)
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476    (2.0%)
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097      (2.0%)
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364      (1.5%)

National Vital Statistics Reports
Volume 61, Number 4
May 8, 2013
Deaths: Final Data for 2010
Table B, page 58

Buried in these numbers is another cause of death that is not so apparent and does not receive as much attention; alcohol abuse. The CDC reports that:
People who drink too much cost the U.S. economy $223.5 billion a year, and governments pay more than 60 percent of their health care costs, federal health experts reported on Monday.

Alcohol abuse kills 79,000 people a year, the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

Most of the costs came from binge drinking, which the CDC defines as four or more drinks per occasion for a woman, and five or more drinks per occasion for a man.

“It is striking that over three-quarters of the cost of excessive alcohol consumption is due to binge drinking, which is reported by about 15 percent of U.S. adults,” the CDC’s Dr. Robert Brewer said in a statement.
That would put alcohol abuse at #7 on the top ten list. And it is an entirely preventable cause of death. The treatment is simple but, oh, so very difficult for so many.

I lost my dad and a sister to alcohol abuse. My dad died in 1990 at the age of 64. My baby sister died in 2004, she was only 46.

Sometimes the numbers can smack you right in the face. For other others, not so much. There were only two real comments on the CDC article, both of them disparaging the loss of productivity figures.

The CDC uses the Cost of Illness (COI) index to determine economic costs for any particular disease. The methodology for determining COI is detailed here for those who are interested.

So, ever wonder why doctors and hospitals have all that paperwork to do? This is one of the reasons.


Gorges Smythe said...

Interesting that they don't include abortion on the list.

Kid said...

Sorry to hear about your family members. It's that much more painful to know they didn't have to go early.
The alcohol numbers are a bit startling really.
Well, here's one more reason to hate someone too under government health [non]care.
Add fat people, smokers, people walking instead of jogging...

Doom said...

I don't trust the CDC, not fully. I have seen them plump numbers that aren't possible when counted out. Even so, if the government got out of the business of giving other people's money away it would not cost them anything. As to the economy, if it is truly capitalist, it doesn't need our help. Further, our productivity is not communal.

You can't change the way things are, either. It's that wishful thinking, even based on... good intentions when that is actually the case, where it all starts to go to hell. None of us can even save ourselves. But for God's will today and Christ in the long tomorrow we would be toast.

The Underground Pewster said...

I wonder if they factor in all the deaths due to drunk drivers.

sig94 said...

Gorges - I guess that if a woman died during pregnancy they would treat it as a disease.

sig94 said...

Doom - I gotta disagree buddy. I have seen first hand the messes caused by alcoholism. The fatal accidents, busted homes, kids running wild ... there was one or our famous drunks who was getting $900 a month because it is now considered a disease and he is disabled as a boozer. He would wander around town coughing his brains out as he also had TB. I wonder how many people he infected....

sig94 said...

Pewster - can't say but I doubt it. It probably would be under another category such as accidental deaths.

sig94 said...

Kid - pretty soon the gubmint will be dictating when you can die and what you are permitted to die from.