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infant mortality and longevity statistics

a briefing document

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Why infant mortality and longevity statistics are not useful indicators of health systems.

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a comparison between international health services

infant mortality - more innumeracy from the fossil media

Most people are weak on statistical analysis. The fossil media is almost entirely staffed by innumerate lefties with ‘degrees’ in ‘media studies’, ‘journalism’ and other non-science-based ‘disciplines’.

Statistics is not an easy subject! It is riddled with complex ‘philosophical’ difficulties.

All fossil media attempts at using statistics should be treated with a very long spoon. Almost all politicians and political systems selectively quote statistics, and regularly change definitions to promote their own careers and to get votes from the innumerate electorate.

While the differences in actual numbers for infant mortality and longevity statistics are generally rather small, these differences are constantly repeated by the uninformed to promote government health systems in Europe and, now, in the USA. [1]

“The U.S.’ infant mortality rate is not higher; the rates of Canada and many European countries are artificially low, due to more restrictive definitions of live birth. There also are variations in the willingness of nations to save very low birth weight and gestation babies.

“The ethnic heterogeneity of the U.S. works against it because different ethnic and cultural groups may have widely different risk factors and genetic predispositions.

“Definitions of a live birth, and therefore which babies are counted in the infant mortality statistics very considerably. The U.S. uses the full WHO definition, while Germany omits one of the four criteria. The U.K. defines a still birth “a child which has issued forth from its mother after the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy and which did not at any time after being completely expelled from its mother breathe or show any other signs of life.”

“This leaves what constitutes a sign of life open and places those born before 24 weeks in a gray area. Canada uses the complete WHO definition but struggles with tens of thousands of missing birth records and increasing numbers of mothers sent to the U.S. for care. France requires “a medical certificate [that] attests that the child was born ‘alive and viable’” for [a] baby who died soon after birth to be counted, [a certificate] which may be difficult to obtain.”

Other problems apply to longevity statistics.

on longevity statistics

Global report on pre-term birth and stillbirth (1 of 7): definitions, description of the burden and opportunities to improve data

Neonatal Mortality Levels for 193 Countries in 2009 with Trends since 1990: A Systematic Analysis of Progress, Projections, and Priorities
[13-page .pdf; source page]

Some World Health Organisation (WHO) definitions;

Definitions also vary thus: for instance, under one year, under 5 years, under one week, and so on!

This is a useful basic source:

“While the overall life expectancy of Americans is lower than that of people other nations, it [is] the result of higher rates of homicides, accidents, and obesity, [and population heterogeneity] factors that are at best tangentially related to the health care system.

“The homicide rate in the U.S. was 5.9 per 100,000 people in 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In contrast, it was 1.99 per 100,000 in Canada, 1.66 in France, .98 in Germany, and 1.63 in England and Wales (approximately 1.71 including Scotland.)

“In the U.S., in 2006 there were 14.24 fatalities per 100,000 people from auto accidents. Canada had 9.25 fatalities, France 7.43, Germany 6.194, and 5.39 in Great Britain (U.K. excluding North Ireland). In general, injuries of all kinds accounted for 47 deaths per 100,000 in the U.S. in 2002 but 26 in the U.K., 29 in Germany and 34 in Canada. Only France, at 48 per 100,000 was equivalent.

“While Americans are not the most likely to be overweight, they are more [often] obese than people in other nations...”

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end notes

  1. From a commonly used source:
    dated 30th March, 2012
      infant mortality life expectancy
      rate per 1000 under 1 year old life expectancy at birth
    Japan 2.21 83.91
    France 3.37 81.46
    Spain 3.37 81.27
    Germany 3.51 80.19
    United Kingdom 4.56 80.17
    U.S.A. 5.98


  2. Life expectancy at birth: remember all the problems with defining live birth!
    In the U.S.A., every sperm is sacred. With a strong anti-abortion (pro-life) stance, one does, indeed, often strive officiously to keep alive marginally viable infants, a practice not common in secular Europe and Japan.

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