Wednesday, September 03, 2008

New chart shows your odds of dying from…

A new chart put together by researchers at Dartmouth helps put your odds of dying from particular diseases in perspective, reports the NY times. The problem with most odds of dying from specific diseases is that they give time frames that are too short (say, one year) which makes the odds seem small, or they give odds over a lifetime (which makes the odds seem pretty high). Also, odds typically apply to the total population.

The Dartmouth charts show risks by sex during 10-year intervals, and according to whether or not you smoke (or used to smoke). So if you're a 45-year-old male who used to smoke, you'll see you have about a 1-in-1000 chance of dying from heart disease.

Interestingly enough, these charts show that, as smokers get older, their risks of dying from heart disease and cancer come pretty close to that of non-smokers and former smoker. For example, a 55-year-old smoker is as likely to die in the next 10 years as a 65-year-old who's never had a smoke in his life.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.