Posts tagged ‘CDC’

Boy-Rape Epidemic, or Systematic Problem in Self-Reporting of Sexual Assault?

Interesting if slightly odd story today:

About 5 to 10 percent of U.S. high-school boys say they've been "physically forced" to have sexual intercourse against their will, according to survey results reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those surprising numbers come from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance report published by the CDC on June 8, and are based on student-reported answers to 2011 national and state surveys.

Click here to see the report. The results concerning high-school students and forced sex can be seen on pages 66-68....

The survey results show girls reporting an even higher percentages of rapes -- 11.8 percent nationally.

So, what is your guess?  Is their an epidemic of boy rape (homosexual I assume but apparently the survey is not taken in a way that one can tell) or are the CDC numbers that women's groups so often like to trumpet basically garbage?

Sick

Went away for a few days with my wife and came down with some kind of flu thing everyone we know in Phoenix seems to have.  Temperature, sore throat, coughing, achy joints, headache but fortunately no barfing.  Without the vomiting, I can power through what I have to get done, its just not fun.

I am wondering if the CDC uses social media data to track disease outbreaks.  I have seem Twitter data showing dynamically when such and such event happened by geotagged Twitter traffic.  Be interesting to do that with all tweets with the word "sick".

Food Nazis Get Fact-Checked

Apparently, the mortality rates from obesity that the media has been breathlessly lecturing us with were overestimated by at least 1500%:

But in a study released this week by the CDC
and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association ("Excess Deaths
Associated with Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity"), the public health
community has finally owned up to their massive fib by acknowledging that the
number of deaths due to obesity in the US is closer to 26,000 not 400,000 as
previously reported.

The part of the earlier study that really got people's attention was the fact that even those slightly overweight but well short of obese had a significantly increased risk of death.  Now, the CDC channels Emily Littella in saying "never mind":

for the merely overweight with BMI's from 25-30 there is no excess mortality. In
fact, being overweight was "associated with a slight reduction in mortality
relative to the normal weight category." Being overweight not only does not lead
to premature death, something that dozens of other studies from around the world
have been saying for the last 30 years, but it also carries less risk from
premature death than being "normal" weight. In other words the overweight=early death "fact" proclaimed
by the public health community is simply not true.

In fact, the study argues, the risks from being underweight are greater than overweight, something that resonates with me having known two women who died due to complications from anorexia.

Other studies will have to replicate these findings, but this study does seem to have taken a more careful approach than previous approaches.  One thing you can be sure about, is that this will not stop lawsuits against fast food companies, since overwhelming medical evidence of the safety of breast implants has not stopped litigation in that arena.  Heck, the fact that most people who are suing asbestos companies admits they are not even sick has not stopped litigation in that arena.

 

More Fun with Statistics

I didn't really pay much attention to the typical 24-hour partisan finger-pointing flurry accompanying the stats showing an uptick in US infant mortality rates.  However, looking back on it, it is a good lesson about how statistics are routinely misused in this country (via Captain's Quarters).  Critics of the administration and the health care system used the statistics to try to show something is wrong with the US. 

Two weeks ago, Nicholas Kristof wrote a column on the first increase in the American infant-mortality rate in decades, taking the opportunity to excoriate Americans and the Bush administration as uncaring and unresponsive to the deaths of children. He compared the US unfavorably with Cuba and China

Unfortunately, this conclusion was flawed:

babies that would die in the womb or at stillbirth elsewhere are born alive in the US. Many of these survive completely, but because of their precarious state, they tend to die at higher percentages than normal births. That's why the numbers rose slightly for 2002. The CDC doesn't expect to see another increase like it.

The solution might be to look at the survival rate at year one as a percentage of total pregnancies, not just births (though you would have to exclude abortions).