Misleading Statistics

I really like this WSJ article by Scott Atlas. He explains the bogus claims that are used to rank our healthcare system is very low. I have brought this up before but I will let his quotes lay it out for you again

  • America’s rate of infant mortality—death within the first year after birth—was 5.9 per 1,000 live births in the latest statistics, 32nd among 35 developed countries, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. But these aren’t apples-to-apples comparisons. Unlike many other countries, the U.S. strictly adheres to the World Health Organization’s definition, recording as a live birth any baby, “irrespective of the duration of the pregnancy,” who “breathes or shows any other evidence of life.” By contrast, WHO noted in a 2008 report, it is “common practice in several western European countries to register as live births only those infants who survived for a specified period.” Infants who don’t survive are “completely ignored for registration purposes.” A British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology study of Western Europe found that terminology alone caused up to 40% variation and 17% false reductions in infant mortality
  • The life-expectancy average doesn’t separate deaths caused by illness from those caused by violence and accidents, many of which are immediately fatal and thus not reflective of health-care quality. Two-thirds of deaths among Americans between 1 and 24 are not from illness, and so are more than 40% of deaths from 25 to 44. For men between 20 and 24, accidents and homicides account for 84% of the gap in mortality rates between Canada and the U.S.
  • The world’s leading medical journals report the U.S. has superior results, including for cancerheart diseasehigh blood pressurediabetes, and high cholesterol; the quickest access to life-changing surgeries that permit pain-free mobility and restore vision; superior screening rates for cancer; the earliest access to new drugs; and broad access to safer, more accurate diagnostic technology that forms the crux of modern health care. Even for the lowest-priority care, U.S. wait times are far shorter than for seriously ill patients in peer countries like Canada and the U.K.

Make sure you have this information ready and available when people start ragging on our healthcare system. I know it’s not affordable. I get that. As you know, I believe the free market can fix this while still keeping us superior in those categories listed below. Most importantly, always scrutinize statistics because many times they are extremely misleading.

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  4 comments for “Misleading Statistics

  1. PW
    December 23, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    This all goes with the same myth that FFS is bad.

  2. Ron
    December 23, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Thanks for this article. It’s dood to have some truth about this statistic.

  3. Thomas David Guastavino
    December 23, 2018 at 6:29 am

    Please work on the “Medical errors are the fourth leading cause of death” bogus statistic.

    • Steve O'
      December 23, 2018 at 7:18 pm

      Statistics are all-too-often individual falsehoods that are willfully bound into deliberate myths. Most “facts” in public debate are unfounded falsehoods.
      Read Steven Jay Gould’s THE MISMEASURE OF MAN, and see how racial intelligence and the bogus “IQ” have been invented and still persist after refutation.

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