Where you live in the United States may have a big impact on how you die, a study Rick and I discuss on PodMed this week and published in JAMA demonstrates. We are both impressed with the shear size of this database as well as the prodigious crunching that had to take place to generate an array of illustrative graphics. Said graphics depict the map of the United States with death from various causes represented, and illustrate the fact that the southern part of the country suffers a disproportionate amount of cardiovascular disease and death from violence. As Rick points out in the podcast, this is also where risk factors such as smoking, obesity and sedentary lifestyle are prevalent, so perhaps it shouldn't be surprising. He also points out that targeted interventions are both possible and indicated in these areas, so clearly the study is of huge public health importance.
The study in unique in that it actually calculates death rates by county, of which there are over 3000, in the United States, for the 21 most common causes of death. It also attempts to correct for so-called 'garbage codes,' relative to causes of death that don't provide any real information. Interestingly, from the over 80 million deaths that took place during the time period in this study, over 19 million were assigned garbage codes as causes of death. This points out another public health issue relative to gathering of trustworthy data. No doubt plenty of initiatives will result from this study, we agree.
Other topics this week include Association Between Statin Exposure and Alzheimer Disease by Sex/Race in JAMA Neurology, Demographic Differences in Adult Use of Psychiatric Drugs in JAMA Neurology, and NIDA statistics on teen substance use and abuse. Until next week, y'all live well.