Monday, November 19, 2007

Heart disease kills more women under 45

Good grief! First they're saying obesity is the biggest killer, now it's heart disease (and of course, that is caused by obesity and diabetes). They don't quote actual numbers from the study so we can see if the results they're trumpeting are in fact significant (and you notice, it's only women that have an increased risk of dying from it, not men).
It can take many years for arteries to get dangerously blocked. About 93 percent of deaths occur in people 55 and older.
But a combination of factors — including genetics, obesity and high cholesterol — are sometimes fatal for younger adults. In 2002, about 25,000 men and 8,000 women ages 35 to 54 died of coronary heart disease.

Now, they are saying that nearly 500,000 people died of coronary heart disease every year. 93% are people older than 55. So 7%, or 35,000 people, are under 55. How many of those are under 45? They don't say, just that 33,000 (25,000 men + 8,000 women) are aged 35 to 54, no idea how many of the 8,000 women are 34 to 45. The percentage of women aged 34 to 55 who die of CHD is almost 23%, according to their figures, but:
When they compared age groups, they detected the worrisome difference. The study found the death rate for women ages 35 to 44 rose from 1997 to 2002, when the rate was 8.2 per 100,000 women, the highest it's been since 1987.
I want to know how 8.2 deaths per 100,000 equals 23% (even if you say half of the 8,000 women are 35 -44, that's still 11.5%). Am I missing something here, or are their statistics being manipulated to scare the hell out of women, again?
The rates for men age 35 to 44 were relatively stable in the last few years of the study period. The rate was 26 deaths per 100,000 men in that age group in 2002.
The fact the male rate didn't worsen may indicate doctors are more likely to suspect heart disease in men that age than in women, said the CDC's Dr. Earl Ford, a study co-author.

Could it be that they suspect heart disease in men and not women because the signs of heart disease in women are chalked up to the fact that we're fat and if we would just lose some fucking weight, all our ills would magically be cured?
And this is the kicker for me:
For all ages, the female death rate fell to 261 from 514 per 100,000; the male rate fell to 430 from 898 per 100,000.

For all ages of women, the rate was almost cut in half, but more women are dying at younger ages. All ages of women dying from CHD is 261 in 100,000; women 34 - 45 is 8.2 in 100,000. So 3% of all women who die from CHD are in the younger age group. 3% doesn't seem like a large number, especially when they aren't giving us the number of women who died of CHD in earlier years for a comparison.
I really, really hate when they do shit like this. Give us part of the information, the part that will scare us into compliance with their lose weight/get thin/get healthy or die mantra, even though they know it's not an attainable, sustainable goal for the majority of us. Is it any wonder that people don't know what to believe anymore? I don't take articles like this with a grain of salt, it's the whole damned salt shaker I need here.


  1. Interesting how there is zero mention of the fact that women are not only less likely to seek out help if they are having symptoms of heart disease, but that they are less likely to be taken seriously by the medical establishment when they do.

    Wonder if that has anything to do with the reason we seem to be dying in greater numbers, if indeed we actually are dying in greater numbers, and there isn't just a lot of hocus pocus going on here.

  2. Also, don't forget that these medical "professionals" have suddenly decided to re-invent the definition of heart attacks. Sandy Szwarc reported it here:

    (sorry, I don't know the HTML code for links)

    But yeah... even so, any fat woman who has symptoms of heart disease and actually goes to the doctor runs a high risk of being told "oh you're just too fat. If you just lost weight, you disgusting pig, you'd be fine." Not only are those doctors contributing to the problem by DOING that, but they're making it more and more likely that a woman won't even BOTHER going to the doctor if there's something wrong with her.

    I wonder if someone's skewing the numbers, though. Wouldn't surprise me in the least.

  3. I read that on JFS. It's a sorry state of things when we have to be so cynical about these damned studies, and it's even worse that all a lot of doctors see when they look at a patient is TEH FAT and refuse to consider that there may actually be something wrong other than weight. But then, they might actually have to spend some time LISTENING to a patient and doing some real work to earn their paycheck (I mean really, how hard is it to listen to symptoms and decide what tests need to be run and then order those tests? It's not like the doctor actually schedules the tests, his/her office staff are the ones who do that).


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