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Thread: Perception vs. reality

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Perception vs. reality

    Interesting comparison of actual causes of death vs. what people search for on google and what gets reported in the media. It would certainly be a different world if the media reporting matched how frequently the various causes of death actually happened.

    perception.jpg
    https://i.redd.it/0kvz7p5l1f131.png

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    I would have done pretty well putting the labels in the actual cause of death chart, but I would have ranked diabetes above road incidents and I do not know what “lower respiratory disease” is.

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    I do not know what “lower respiratory disease” is.
    I believe those are the chronic lung diseases like COPD and emphysema.

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    The cause of death is not always accurately reported. Most people with Alzheimer actually die of something related such as choking because they forget how to chew and swallow, pneumonia from being sedentary, etc.

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    The most interesting to me was that heart disease kills almost 1/3 of people, yet few people are searching for info or reporting on it, while terrorism, on the other hand, causes virtually no deaths compared to heart attacks, yet the media spends more electrons obsessing about that than any other cause of death. People shouldn't be freaking out about terrorism. Honestly they shouldn't be thinking about it much at all. They should be freaking out about heart attacks since that's the most likely thing that will kill them.

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    My grandfather starting smoking at age 11. When he died, he was housebound on oxygen for emphysema. He was also an alcoholic.

    his death certificate says “heart attack” because that was the proximal cause of death. It does not say “heart attack that occurred because subject was suffering from malnutrition and general muscle weakness brought on by getting most of his calories from whiskey and getting no exercise due to severe emphysema and because heart muscle was deprived of oxygen due to emphysema and subject removing oxygen tube so his cigarettes wouldn’t burn so quickly.”

    other more accurate causes of death might be “booze and cigarettes”, “slow suicide”, or “ptsd” - if he had come back from the war mentally in one piece, maybe he would have quit smoking and drinking and become a good father. Maybe not.

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    I guess I do a good job of keeping things in perspective, since I almost never worry about getting killed by terrorists or murdered. But I do think every strange bump or lump that crops up is definitely cancer.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I've heard of similar "perception vs reality" stats--one comes to mind that was in the book Freakonomics. People worry about children dying of accidental gunshots, but in reality, more children die in backyard pools. I love this because it could be a case of classism--wealthier people who have in-ground pools don't want to believe that their children are more likely to die in their own yards than the children raised by gun-toting parents (which undoubtedly comes with its own set of stereotypes).

    And keep in mind that I am not gun-toting at all. I can't see myself ever owning a gun. But I do like to see myths destroyed by data.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    My Dad and Mom died of natural causes. Dad died of Lung Cancer and Mom died of Bladder Cancer.

    Figure that out!

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