Your clients, your prospects — and your friends, neighbors, relatives and pizza delivery people — may start talking to you about a creepy new paper: the one that shows that neurological death rates have increased in 20 rich countries, and soared in the United States.
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Colin Pritchard and Emily Rosenorn-Lang, researchers at Bournemouth University, a university in the United Kingdom, have published numbers supporting that frightening conclusion in an article in Surgical Neurology International, a peer-reviewed academic journal that seeks to encourage discussions about controversial issues.
The researchers collected death rate data for people ages 55 to 74, and for people ages 75 and older, for the United States, Canada, Japan and 20 Western European countries.
The death rate figures included:
- Data on deaths caused by neurological disorders, cancer and circulatory disease.
- Data for the period from 1989 through 1992, and for the period from 2008 through 2010.
In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, the category for neurological causes of death includes conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease, and “mad cow disease.”
The researchers compared how the annual neurological condition death rate changed, for the 55-74 age group and the 75-and-up age group for each country, between the 1989-1992 data collection period and the 2008-2010 data collection period.
In an effort to try to compensate for other trends that might have affected death rates, the researchers came up with the same types of tables for annual cancer and circulatory disorder death rates.
For all 20 countries, the neurological condition death rate increased 2 percent for the younger men, to 503 deaths per million men per year, and the neurological condition death rate for the younger women increased 1 percent, to 390 per million women.
For the men ages 75 and older, the total neurological condition death rate rose 117 percent, and the death rate rose 143 percent for the women.
For cancer and circulatory disorders, the 20-country death rates fell sharply.
In the United States, the picture was much different.
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Here, the cancer death rate and the circulatory death rate fell for everyone. The cancer death rate for the women in the 75-and-older age group fell just 2 percent. The other cancer and circulatory death rates fell at least 18 percent.
The U.S. neurological condition death figures look terrible.
The increase in the death rate was 82 percent, to 627 per million, for the younger men, and 368 percent, to 12,271, for the older men.
The increase was 48 percent, to 560, for the younger women, and 663 percent, to 21,253, for the older women.
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