X-Message-Number: 13596
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 09:33:57 -0700
From: Kennita Watson <>
Subject: Life mortality
References: <>

Message #13595
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 00:22:40 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Helping the Flies

"You help more flies by not signing up for cryonics than by signing up" (to
paraphrase Dave Pizer,  #13586 :-).

Brook Norton, #13582 writes:

" But I don't feel there's such a
hurry for younger people... I'm 39.  If I for some reason could not sign up
for 10 more years I wouldn't be too worried about it.  What are the odds
that I need to be cryopreserved?  Very, very, small.  I know, I know, if I
was killed in an auto accident I'd be lost forever, but still, what are the
odds?  Very, very slim that I will die in the next 10 years"

How slim? Have you checked it out? I looked on the Web just now and
found a
1997 mortality table (or "life table" as it's called. If you're interested,
the URL was <http://www.cd.gov/nds/data/lewk3_97.pdf>; I believe it pertains
to the US only--a good enough start however). Starting with 100,000 people
at birth (age 0), there were 96,330 surviving to age 39, and 93,712
surviving to age 40. The fraction dying thus is (96,330-93,712)/96,330 or
2.72% or about one in 37.

That seems high to me -- at that rate we'd all be dead by 77, and I'm pretty
sure the rate increases as we age.

Absolutely Brook is safer from the ultimate risk if he is signed up,
but we'd better be careful about what statistics we use, lest our
credibility become more strained than it already is.

By the way, that URL gave me a no-such-server error -- who sponsors
the site?

Let's try this:

http://www.kdhe.state.ks.us/hci/vital94/death.html, the "1994 Summary of
Kansas Vital Statistics -- Death Highlights" yielded

            The Kansas death rate in 1994 was 9.1 deaths per 1,000 population,
            which was 3.4 percent higher than the estimated U.S.
            rate of 8.8 deaths per 1,000 population.

            The Kansas age-adjusted death rate was below that of the
            between 1984 and 1994. The 1994 Kansas rate of 4.8 deaths
            per 1,000 standard population is 5.9 percent lower than the 
            estimated age-adjusted death rate of 5.1 for the U.S.

That was from one of 128 pages returned by an AltaVista search on
"death near percent near table".

Then I got a brainstorm and tried 
       death near "vital statistics" near table near "all causes"
It only returned two pages, one of which was
http://www.hs.state.az.us/plan/1997ahs/ahs97.htm, the "1997 Arizona 
Health Status and Vital Statistics Annual Report", which included:

            The total, age-adjusted mortality rate declined for the
            consecutive year from 574.4 [per 100,000] in 1994, to 549.5 in
            1995, 531.2 in 1996, and 518.1 in 1997.

I'm sure there are more such pages, but that was enough to satisfy me that
one in 37 was way off, and to make me curious to find what source came up
with such bogus numbers so I could be warned against any other numbers that
come from that source.  Then again, maybe it's good I can't find them -- 
the fewer people exposed to wrong or misleading information, the better. 

Given time, I bet I could find the U.S. Vital Statistics Office (or 
whatever; Yahoo/Government/Statistics gave me more than I wanted to
search right now; I'd be happy if someone more curious and less time-
pressured posted the URL).

Kennita Watson          |       Strictly as one human to another:
      |            Live long and prosper.
http://i.am/kennita     |

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=13596