Archive for the ‘death’ Category

Taking on the Rising Death Toll from Traffic & Pollution

April 11, 2014 Comments off

Taking on the Rising Death Toll from Traffic & Pollution
Source: World Bank

+ The annual death toll linked to road transportation is higher than many policy makers realize, reaching at least 1.5 million people worldwide and rising, according to a new analysis.

+ The report, Transport for Health, counts the number of lives lost to road crashes and, for the first time, also quantifies deaths related to vehicle pollution.

+ It offers practical actions countries can take now to improve transportation, air quality, and road safety data.

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NZ — Suicide Reporting

April 10, 2014 Comments off

Suicide Reporting
Source: Law Commission

The Report recommends that sections 71 to 73 of the Coroners Act 2006 that restrict the reporting of suicide be repealed and replaced by new provisions. Those provisions should only prohibit the reporting of the method of suicide and the fact that a death is a suicide. A person should be able to apply to the Chief Coroner for an exemption from those prohibitions. It also recommends that the Coroners Act requires the Minister of Health to prepare, in consultation with media and mental health experts, a new set of standards for reporting suicide, and to implement an ongoing programme to disseminate, promote, support and evaluate the implementation of those standards.

State Fire Death Rates and Relative Risk

April 9, 2014 Comments off

State Fire Death Rates and Relative Risk
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

The fire problem varies from region to region in the United States. This often is a result of climate, poverty, education, demographics, and other causal factors. Perhaps the most useful way to assess fire fatalities across groups is to determine the relative risk of dying in a fire. Relative risk compares the per capita rate for a particular group (e.g., Pennsylvania) to the overall per capita rate (i.e., the general population). The result is a measure of how likely a group is to be affected. For the general population, the relative risk is set at 1.

In addition to the District of Columbia, the states with the highest relative risk in 2010 included West Virginia, Alabama and Mississippi. The populace of West Virginia was 3.3 times more likely to die in a fire than the general population; however, people living in Oregon, Massachusetts and Arizona were 50 percent less likely to die in a fire than the population as a whole. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia had a relative risk higher than that of the general population. Three states, Iowa, Washington and New Mexico, had a relative risk comparable to that of the general population.

Relative risk was not computed for HI, ME, ND, VT and WY due to small numbers of fire deaths which are subject to variability.

State by State Lethal Injection

April 9, 2014 Comments off

State by State Lethal Injection
Source: Death Penalty Information Center

Until 2010, most states used a 3-drug combination for lethal injections: an anesthetic (either pentobarbital or, formerly, sodium thiopental), pancuronium bromide (a paralytic agent, also called Pavulon), and potassium chloride (stops the heart and causes death). Due to drug shortages, states have adopted new lethal injection methods, including:

ONE DRUG: Eight states have used a single-drug method for executions–a lethal dose of an anesthetic (Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and Washington). Five other states have announced use of one-drug lethal injection protocols, but have not carried out such an execution (Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee).

PENTOBARBITAL: Fourteen states have used pentobarbital in executions: Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia. Five additional states plan to use pentobarbital: Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Colorado includes pentobarbital as a backup drug in its lethal injection procedure.

PROPOFOL: One state had planned to use propofol (Diprivan), in a single-drug protocol, but has since revised its lethal injection procedure: Missouri

MIDAZOLAM: One state has used midazolam as the first drug in a three-drug protocol: Florida. One state has used midazolam in a two-drug protocol: Ohio. Four states have proposed using midazolam in a two-drug protocol: Louisiana, Kentucky, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Two states have proposed using midazolam in a three-drug protocol: Virginia and Oklahoma. Some states have proposed multiple protocols.

CRS — Military Funeral Honors and Military Cemeteries: Frequently Asked Questions

April 8, 2014 Comments off

Military Funeral Honors and Military Cemeteries: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via University of North Texas Digital Library)

This report is written in response to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about military funeral honors and military cemeteries. It provides information on the eligibility criteria, required components of the honor detail, and the funeral ceremony. It also cites legislation that mandates that the Department of Defense (DOD) make military funeral honors available to every eligible veteran upon request. This report will be updated as needed. For related reading, see CRS Report R41386, Veterans’ Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries, by Christine Scott.

CDC Grand Rounds: Global Tobacco Control

April 8, 2014 Comments off

CDC Grand Rounds: Global Tobacco Control
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

During the 20th century, use of tobacco products contributed to the deaths of 100 million persons worldwide (1). In 2011, approximately 6 million additional deaths were linked to tobacco use, the world’s leading underlying cause of death, responsible for more deaths each year than human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), tuberculosis, and malaria combined (1). One third to one half of lifetime users die from tobacco products, and smokers die an average of 14 years earlier than nonsmokers (2,3). Manufactured cigarettes account for 96% of all tobacco sales worldwide. From 1880 to 2009, annual global consumption of cigarettes increased from an estimated 10 billion cigarettes to approximately 5.9 trillion cigarettes (Figure 1), with five countries accounting for 58% of the total consumption: China (38%), Russia (7%), the United States (5%), Indonesia (4%), and Japan (4%). Among the estimated 1 billion smokers worldwide, men outnumber women by four to one. In 14 countries, at least 50% of men smoke, whereas in more than half of these same countries, fewer than 10% of women smoke (4). If current trends persist, an estimated 500 million persons alive today will die from use of tobacco products. By 2030, tobacco use will result in the deaths of approximately 8 million persons worldwide each year (4). Yet, every death from tobacco products is preventable.

Death Sentences and Executions 2013

April 7, 2014 Comments off

Death Sentences and Executions 2013
Source: Amnesty International

2013 was marked by some challenging setbacks on the journey to abolition of the death penalty. Four countries – Indonesia, Kuwait, Nigeria and Viet Nam – resumed executions and there was a significant rise in the number of people executed during the year compared with 2012, driven primarily by increases in Iraq and Iran.

Executions were recorded in 22 countries during 2013, one more than in the previous year. As in 2012, it could not be confirmed if judicial executions took place in Egypt or Syria. The overall number of reported executions worldwide was 778, an increase of almost 15% compared with 2012. As in previous years, this figure does not include the thousands of people executed in China; with the death penalty treated as a state secret the lack of reliable data does not allow Amnesty International to publish credible minimum figures for China.

Alcohol-Attributable Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost — 11 States, 2006–2010

March 24, 2014 Comments off

Alcohol-Attributable Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost — 11 States, 2006–2010
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Excessive alcohol consumption, the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States (1), resulted in approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) annually during 2006–2010 and cost an estimated $223.5 billion in 2006 (2). To estimate state-specific average annual rates of alcohol-attributable deaths (AAD) and YPLL caused by excessive alcohol use, 11 states analyzed 2006–2010 data (the most recent data available) using the CDC Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) application. The age-adjusted median AAD rate was 28.5 per 100,000 population (range = 50.9 per 100,000 in New Mexico to 22.4 per 100,000 in Utah). The median YPLL rate was 823 per 100,000 (range = 1,534 YPLL per 100,000 for New Mexico to 634 per 100,000 in Utah). The majority of AAD (median = 70%) and YPLL (median = 82%) were among working-age (20–64 years) adults. Routine monitoring of alcohol-attributable health outcomes, including deaths and YPLL, in states could support the planning and implementation of evidence-based prevention strategies recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force to reduce excessive drinking and related harms. Such strategies include increasing the price of alcohol, limiting alcohol outlet density, and holding alcohol retailers liable for harms related to the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors and intoxicated patrons (dram shop liability) (3).

Dynamic Association of Mortality Hazard with Body Shape

March 3, 2014 Comments off

Dynamic Association of Mortality Hazard with Body Shape
Source: PLoS ONE

A Body Shape Index (ABSI) had been derived from a study of the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2004 mortality data to quantify the risk associated with abdominal obesity (as indicated by a wide waist relative to height and body mass index). A national survey with longer follow-up, the British Health and Lifestyle Survey (HALS), provides another opportunity to assess the predictive power for mortality of ABSI. HALS also includes repeat observations, allowing estimation of the implications of changes in ABSI.

Methods and Findings
We evaluate ABSI z score relative to population normals as a predictor of all-cause mortality over 24 years of follow-up to HALS. We found that ABSI is a strong indicator of mortality hazard in this population, with death rates increasing by a factor of 1.13 (95% confidence interval, 1.09–1.16) per standard deviation increase in ABSI and a hazard ratio of 1.61 (1.40–1.86) for those with ABSI in the top 20% of the population compared to those with ABSI in the bottom 20%. Using the NHANES normals to compute ABSI z scores gave similar results to using z scores derived specifically from the HALS sample. ABSI outperformed as a predictor of mortality hazard other measures of abdominal obesity such as waist circumference, waist to height ratio, and waist to hip ratio. Moreover, it was a consistent predictor of mortality hazard over at least 20 years of follow-up. Change in ABSI between two HALS examinations 7 years apart also predicted mortality hazard: individuals with a given initial ABSI who had rising ABSI were at greater risk than those with falling ABSI.

ABSI is a readily computed dynamic indicator of health whose correlation with lifestyle and with other risk factors and health outcomes warrants further investigation.

Suicides in the United Kingdom, 2012 Registrations

February 27, 2014 Comments off

Suicides in the United Kingdom, 2012 Registrations
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key Points

  • In 2012, 5,981 suicides in people aged 15 and over were registered in the UK, 64 fewer than in 2011.
  • The UK suicide rate was 11.6 deaths per 100,000 population in 2012, but there are significant differences in suicide rates between men and women. Male suicide rates were more than three times higher at 18.2 male deaths compared with 5.2 female deaths per 100,000 population.
  • The highest suicide rate was among men aged 40 to 44, at 25.9 deaths per 100,000 population.
  • The most common methods of suicide in the UK in 2012 were hanging, strangulation and suffocation (58% of male suicides and 36% of female suicides) and poisoning (43% of female suicides and 20% of male suicides).
  • In 2012 in England, the suicide rate was highest in the North West at 12.4 deaths per 100,000 population and lowest in London at 8.7 per 100,000 population.
  • The median registration delay for deaths where suicide was the underlying cause of death was 155 days in England and Wales and 144 days in Northern Ireland. In Scotland, the time taken to register a death did not exceed the allocated eight days.

Mortality from road crashes in 193 countries: a comparison with other leading causes of death

February 26, 2014 Comments off

Mortality from road crashes in 193 countries: a comparison with other leading causes of death
Source: Transportation Research Institute (University of Michigan)

This study compared, for each country of the world, the fatalities per population from road crashes with fatalities per population from three leading causes of death (malignant neoplasm, ischaemic heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease), and from all causes. The data, applicable to 2008, came from the World Health Organization. The main findings are as follows:
(1) For the world, there are 18 fatalities from road crashes per 100,000 population, as compared with 113 for malignant neoplasm, 108 for ischaemic heart disease, and 91 for cerebrovascular disease. The highest fatality rate from road crashes is in Namibia (45) and the lowest in the Maldives (2).
(2) For the world, fatalities from road crashes represent 2.1% of fatalities from all causes. The highest percentage is in the United Arab Emirates (15.9%) and the lowest in the Marshall Islands (0.3%).
(3) For the world, fatalities from road crashes represent 15.9% of fatalities from malignant neoplasm. The highest percentage is in Namibia (153.9%) and the lowest in the Maldives (1.7%).
(4) For the world, fatalities from road crashes represent 16.7% of fatalities from ischaemic heart disease. The highest percentage is in Qatar (123.9%) and the lowest in Malta (1.9%).
(5) For the world, fatalities from road crashes represent 19.6% of fatalities from cerebrovascular disease. The highest percentage is in Qatar (529.7%) and the lowest in the Marshall Islands (2.3%). The appendixes list the rates and percentages for each individual country.

CRS — Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program

February 25, 2014 Comments off

Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via MSPB Watch)

The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program provides three different types of benefits to public safety officers and their survivors: a death, a disability, and an education benefit. The PSOB program is administered by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA’s), PSOB Office.

CRS — A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom (updated)

February 24, 2014 Comments off

A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists

This report presents statistics regarding U.S. military casualties in the active Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF, Afghanistan), as well as operations that have ended: Operation New Dawn (OND, Iraq) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF, Iraq). This report includes statistics on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputations, evacuations, and the demographics of casualties. Some of these statistics are publicly available at the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) website, whereas others have been obtained through contact with experts at DOD.

Fatal occupational injuries involving contractors, 2011

February 14, 2014 Comments off

Fatal occupational injuries involving contractors, 2011
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Before 2011, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries captured data only on the firm that directly employed the decedent. While this is useful information, the firm directly employing the decedent is not always the firm at which the decedent was working at the time of the incident, such as when the person killed was a contractor. This visual essay looks at new data on contractors, highlighting some interesting similarities and differences between these workers and those who are not contractors.

Climate change effects on human health: projections of temperature-related mortality for the UK during the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s

February 5, 2014 Comments off

Climate change effects on human health: projections of temperature-related mortality for the UK during the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s (PDF)
Source: Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

The most direct way in which climate change is expected to affect public health relates to changes in mortality rates associated with exposure to ambient temperature. Many countries worldwide experience annual heat-related and cold-related deaths associated with current weather patterns. Future changes in climate may alter such risks. Estimates of the likely future health impacts of such changes are needed to inform public health policy on climate change in the UK and elsewhere.

Time-series regression analysis was used to characterise current temperature-mortality relationships by region and age group. These were then applied to the local climate and population projections to estimate temperature-related deaths for the UK by the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. Greater variability in future temperatures as well as changes in mean levels was modelled.

A significantly raised risk of heat-related and cold-related mortality was observed in all regions. The elderly were most at risk. In the absence of any adaptation of the population, heat-related deaths would be expected to rise by around 257% by the 2050s from a current annual baseline of around 2000 deaths, and cold-related mortality would decline by 2% from a baseline of around 41 000 deaths. The cold burden remained higher than the heat burden in all periods. The increased number of future temperature-related deaths was partly driven by projected population growth and ageing.

Health protection from hot weather will become increasingly necessary, and measures to reduce cold impacts will also remain important in the UK. The demographic changes expected this century mean that the health protection of the elderly will be vital.

Alcohol and mortality in Russia: prospective observational study of 151 000 adults

February 5, 2014 Comments off

Alcohol and mortality in Russia: prospective observational study of 151 000 adults
Source: The Lancet

Russian adults have extraordinarily high rates of premature death. Retrospective enquiries to the families of about 50 000 deceased Russians had found excess vodka use among those dying from external causes (accident, suicide, violence) and eight particular disease groupings. We now seek prospective evidence of these associations.

In three Russian cities (Barnaul, Byisk, and Tomsk), we interviewed 200 000 adults during 1999—2008 (with 12 000 re-interviewed some years later) and followed them until 2010 for cause-specific mortality. In 151 000 with no previous disease and some follow-up at ages 35—74 years, Poisson regression (adjusted for age at risk, amount smoked, education, and city) was used to calculate the relative risks associating vodka consumption with mortality. We have combined these relative risks with age-specific death rates to get 20-year absolute risks.

Among 57 361 male smokers with no previous disease, the estimated 20-year risks of death at ages 35—54 years were 16% (95% CI 15—17) for those who reported consuming less than a bottle of vodka per week at baseline, 20% (18—22) for those consuming 1—2·9 bottles per week, and 35% (31—39) for those consuming three or more bottles per week; trend p<0·0001. The corresponding risks of death at ages 55—74 years were 50% (48—52) for those who reported consuming less than a bottle of vodka per week at baseline, 54% (51—57) for those consuming 1—2·9 bottles per week, and 64% (59—69) for those consuming three or more bottles per week; trend p<0·0001. In both age ranges most of the excess mortality in heavier drinkers was from external causes or the eight disease groupings strongly associated with alcohol in the retrospective enquiries. Self-reported drinking fluctuated; of the men who reported drinking three or more bottles of vodka per week who were reinterviewed a few years later, about half (185 of 321) then reported drinking less than one bottle per week. Such fluctuations must have substantially attenuated the apparent hazards of heavy drinking in this study, yet self-reported vodka use at baseline still strongly predicted risk. Among male non-smokers and among females, self-reported heavy drinking was uncommon, but seemed to involve similar absolute excess risks.

This large prospective study strongly reinforces other evidence that vodka is a major cause of the high risk of premature death in Russian adults.

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Law Enforcement Fatalities Dip to Lowest Level in Six Decades

February 4, 2014 Comments off

Law Enforcement Fatalities Dip to Lowest Level in Six Decades (PDF)
Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 111 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2013, an eight percent decrease from 2012, when 121 officers were killed. This was the fewest number of fatalities for the law enforcement profession since 1959 when 110 officers died.

Traffic-related fatalities were the leading cause of officer fatalities in 2013, killing 46 officers. Thirty-one officers were killed in automobile crashes, 11 officers were struck and killed outside their vehicle and four officers were killed in motorcycle crashes. Traffic-related fatalities decreased four percent from 2012 when 48 officers were killed.

Monitoring Progress in Population Health: Trends in Premature Death Rates

January 7, 2014 Comments off

Monitoring Progress in Population Health: Trends in Premature Death Rates
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Trends in population health outcomes can be monitored to evaluate the performance of population health systems at the national, state, and local levels. The objective of this study was to compare and contrast 4 measures for assessing progress in population health improvement by using age-adjusted premature death rates as a summary measure of the overall health outcomes in the United States and in all 50 states.

To evaluate the performance of statewide population health systems during the past 20 years, we used 4 measures of age-adjusted premature (<75 years of age) death rates: current rates (2009), baseline trends (1990s), follow-up trends (2000s), and changes in trends from baseline to the follow-up periods (ie, “bending the curve”).

Current premature death rates varied by approximately twofold, with the lowest rate in Minnesota (268 deaths per 100,000) and the highest rate in Mississippi (482 deaths per 100,000). Rates improved the most in New York during the baseline period (−3.05% per year) and in New Jersey during the follow-up period (−2.87% per year), whereas Oklahoma ranked last in trends during both periods (−0.30%/y, baseline; +0.18%/y, follow-up). Trends improved the most in Connecticut, bending the curve downward by −1.03%; trends worsened the most in New Mexico, bending the curve upward by 1.21%.

Current premature death rates, recent trends, and changes in trends vary by state in the United States. Policy makers can use these measures to evaluate the long-term population health impact of broad health care, behavioral, social, and economic investments in population health.

Geographic Divergence in Mortality in the United States

December 29, 2013 Comments off

Geographic Divergence in Mortality in the United States
Source: Population and Development Review

The United States trails other developed countries in adult mortality, a process that has become more pronounced over the past several decades. However, comparisons are complicated by substantial geographic variations in mortality within the United States. The second half of the twentieth century was characterized by a substantial divergence in adult mortality between the South and the rest of the United States. The article examines trends in US geographic variation in mortality between 1965 and 2004, in particular the aggregate divergence in mortality between the southern states and states with more favorable mortality experience. Relatively high smoking-attributable mortality in the South explains 50–100 percent of the divergence for men between 1965 and 1985 and up to 50 percent for women between 1985 and 2004. There is also a geographic correspondence between the contribution of smoking and other factors, suggesting that smoking may be one piece of a more complex health-related puzzle.

New From the GAO

December 27, 2013 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Social Security Death Data: Additional Action Needed to Address Data Errors and Federal Agency Access. GAO-14-46, November 27.
Highlights -

2. National Preparedness: HHS Is Monitoring the Progress of Its Medical Countermeasure Efforts but Has Not Provided Previously Recommended Spending Estimates. GAO-14-90, December 27.
Highlights -


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