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
Source: Office for National Statistics
- 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
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.
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)
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
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
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.
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 (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
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.
Preliminary 2013 Fatality Statistics
Source: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Preliminary 2013 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities
December 24, 2013 vs. December 24, 2012
Fatalities of Pedestrians, Bicycle Riders, and Motorists Due to Distracted Driving Motor Vehicle Crashes in the U.S., 2005–2010
Fatalities of Pedestrians, Bicycle Riders, and Motorists Due to Distracted Driving Motor Vehicle Crashes in the U.S., 2005–2010 (PDF)
Source: Public Health Reports
Distracted driving is an increasingly deadly threat to road safety. This study documents trends in and characteristics of pedestrian, bicycle rider, and other victim deaths caused by distracted drivers on U.S. public roads.
We obtained data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System database from 2005 to 2010 on every crash that resulted in at least one fatality within 30 days occurring on public roads in the U.S. Following the definition used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we identified distracted driving based on whether police investigators determined that a driver had been using a technological device, including a cell phone, onboard navigation system, computer, fax machine, two-way radio, or head-up display, or had been engaged in inattentive or careless activities.
The rate of fatalities per 10 billion vehicle miles traveled increased from 116.1 in 2005 to 168.6 in 2010 for pedestrians and from 18.7 in 2005 to 24.6 in 2010 for bicyclists. Pedestrian victims of distracted driving crashes were disproportionately male, 25–64 years of age, and non-Hispanic white. They were also more likely to die at nighttime, be struck by a distracted driver outside of a marked crosswalk, and be in a metro location. Bicycling victims of distracted crashes were disproportionately male, non-Hispanic white, and struck by a distracted driver outside of a crosswalk. Compared with pedestrians, bicyclists were less likely to be hit in early morning.
Distracted drivers are the cause of an increasing share of fatalities found among pedestrians and bicycle riders. Policies are needed to protect pedestrians and bicycle riders as they cross intersections or travel on roadways.
Association of Nut Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
Source: New England Journal of Medicine
In two large prospective U.S. cohorts, we found a significant, dose-dependent inverse association between nut consumption and total mortality, after adjusting for potential confounders. As compared with participants who did not eat nuts, those who consumed nuts seven or more times per week had a 20% lower death rate. Inverse associations were observed for most major causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases. Results were similar for peanuts and tree nuts, and the inverse association persisted across all subgroups.
Note: Supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (UM1 CA167552, P01 CA055075, P01 CA87969, R01 HL60712, R01 CA124908, P50 CA127003, and 1U54 CA155626-01) and the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation.
Old age mortality in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia
Source: Demographic Research
Eastern and South-Eastern Asian countries have witnessed a marked decline in old age mortality in recent decades. Yet no studies have investigated the trends and patterns in old age morality and cause-of-death in the region.
We reviewed the trends and patterns of old age mortality and cause-of-death for countries in the region.
We examined data on old age mortality in terms of life expectancy at age 65 and age-specific death rates from the 2012 Revision of the World Population Prospects for 14 countries in the region (China, Hong Kong, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam) and data on cause-of-death from the WHO for five countries (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Singapore) from 1980 to 2010.
While mortality transitions in these populations took place in different times, and at different levels of socioeconomic development and living environment, changes in their age patterns and sex differentials in mortality showed certain similarities: women witnessed a similar decline to men in spite of their lower mortality, and young elders had a larger decline than the oldest-old. In all five countries examined for cause-of-death, most of the increases in life expectancy at age 65 in both men and women were attributable to declines in mortality from stroke and heart disease. GDP per capita, educational level, and urbanization explained much of the variations in life expectancy and cause-specific mortality, indicating critical contributions of these basic socioeconomic development indicators to the mortality decline over time in the region.
These findings shed light on the relationship between epidemiological transition, changing age patterns of mortality, and improving life expectancy in these populations.
NHTSA Data Confirms Traffic Fatalities Increased In 2012
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released the 2012 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data indicating that highway deaths increased to 33,561 in 2012, which is 1,082 more fatalities than in 2011. The majority of the increase in deaths, 72 percent, occurred in the first quarter of the year. Most of those involved were motorcyclists and pedestrians.
While the newly released data announced today marks the first increase since 2005, highway deaths over the past five years continue to remain at historic lows. Fatalities in 2011 were at the lowest level since 1949 and even with this slight increase in 2012, we are still at the same level of fatalities as 1950. Early estimates on crash fatalities for the first half of 2013 indicate a decrease in deaths compared to the same timeframe in 2012.
Deaths, Australia, 2012
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
This release brings together statistics on deaths and mortality in Australia. Data refer to deaths registered during the calendar year shown, unless otherwise stated. State or territory relates to state or territory of usual residence, unless otherwise stated.