Thursday, October 7, 2021

What are the odds? Learn your odds of dying from different causes in the U.S. (2019 data)

 I was debating with the antivaxers on twitter and I asked them whether they ever travel in a vehicle because the odds of having a serious injury from a road accident is way much higher than the insignificant risk of getting an injury from a vaccine? 

So I looked up some statistics and when I saw them, I thought, WTF, I'm never travelling in a vehicle again! I also decided never to look up the odds of dying in a cycling accident. Okay, I wasn't really intending of never traveling in a vehicle again, but I was a bit concerned just the same. Perhaps I'm not getting something, but lifetime risk of dying in a vehicle is one in 240 in the UK and one in 110 in the US, but risk gets much worse if you drive a car everyday, or do a lot of driving. 

BTW, the lifetime risk of dying by suicide is 1 in 88 - WTF! That is a lot of suffering, and much of that may be due to chronic pain. 

Anti-Vaxxer tweet. 

Risk of death and transportation

The lifetime risk of dying in a transport accident is remarkably high - with most of the risk coming from road traffic accidents. While the risk of dying in a road accident in any year in the UK approaches 1 in 20,000, the lifetime risk is 1 in 240.


What are the odds? Learn your odds of dying from different causes in the U.S. (2019 data)


Joe said...

Humans just aren't very good at doing probabilities innately. We constantly over and underestimate things.

We've seen conservatives underestimate the risk of covid and then overestimate the risk of the vaccines. Liberals have often overestimated the risk of covid.

We see this about masks. They're not 100% effective, but they offer you a reduction of exposure. A lot of people don't really understand what a reduction of risk means, we've seen the same phenomenon with breakthrough cases among the vaccinated. Conservatives can't seem to understand what a reduction of risk means. A breakthrough cases gets immediately equated to "doesn't work at all".
Then you have my favorite, "I believe in science (TM). Hold on, let me put my mask on before going outside for a jog", despite the risk of catching covid while out on a jog is miniscule, your chance of getting in a car wreck are higher, hell getting hit by a car while jogging is higher.
We see it with the fear mongering around children. Sure, 500+ kids have died from covid, but about that many kids die from drowning in swimming pools and hot tubs during a year and half time period and more kids than that on average die in car wreck during a similar time period. The kids are overwhelmingly fine, they face bigger risks than covid. Now their parents and especially their grandparents do face real risks from covid. It's the height of stupidity for a 70+ year old person judging the risk of a vaccines to be greater than the risks associated with covid. But numbers don't mean anything if you're trying to own the libs.

lastgreek said...

"So I looked up some statistics and when I saw them, I thought, WTF, I'm never travelling in a vehicle again! "

Yes, scary to think about. But I gotta say it's wonder considering all the distractions there are while driving, the rush that people are in, etc. -- it's a wonder (more like a miracle) that driving accidents/fatalities aren't much higher.

Peter Pan said...

Who are the worst drivers in Canada by province?

Ahmed Fares said...

One of the best videos I've seen about risk (6-minute video):

What Kills Us? How We Understand Risk.

Because he mentions air travel versus road travel, it reminded me of this. Fear kills.

Driving fatalities after 9/11: a hidden cost of terrorism


We show that the public's response to terrorist threats can have unintended consequences that rival the attacks themselves in severity. Driving fatalities increased significantly after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, events that prompted many travellers to substitute road transportation for safer air transportation. After controlling for time trends, weather, road conditions and other factors, we find that travellers' response to 9/11 resulted in 327 driving deaths per month in late 2001. Moreover, while the effect of 9/11 weakened over time, as many as 2300 driving deaths may be attributable to the attacks.

Ahmed Fares said...

Bryan Caplan on risk:

Is Breast Cancer Screening Worthless? The Fact Box Speaks

First, is there evidence that mammography screening reduces my chance of dying from breast cancer? The answer is yes. Out of every one thousand women who did not participate in screening, about five died of breast cancer, while this number was four for those who participated. In statistical terms that is an absolute risk reduction of one in one thousand. But if you find this information in a newspaper or brochure, it is almost always presented as a “20 percent risk reduction” or more.

Second, is there evidence that mammography screening reduces my chance of dying from any kind of cancer, including breast cancer? The answer is no…

In plain words, there is no evidence that mammography saves lives. One less women in a thousand dies with the diagnosis breast cancer, but one more dies with another cancer diagnosis. Some women die with two or three different cancers, where it’s not always clear which of these caused death.

Also, this:

Is Prostate Screening Worthless? The Icon Box Speaks

[I]s there any evidence that early detection reduces the number of deaths from prostate cancer? The answer is no: There was no difference… [I]s there evidence that detecting cancer at an early stage reduces the total number of deaths from any cause whatsoever? Again no.

There are two kinds of harms: for men without prostate cancer and for men with prostate cancer that is nonprogressive. When a man without cancer repeatedly has a high PSA level, doctors typically do a biopsy. But unlike a mammogram, a PSA test does not tell the doctor where to inject the needle. As a result, men are often subjected to the nightmare of multiple needle biopsies in search of a tumor that is not there in the first place. These false alarms occur frequently because many men without cancer have high PSA levels…

Men with nonprogressive prostate cancer suffer even more. If a biopsy showed any signs of cancer, most were pushed into unnecessary treatments, such as prostatectomy and radiation therapy… Between 20 and 70 percent of men who had no problems before treatment ended up incontinent or impotent for the rest of their lives.

Ahmed Fares said...

The data for my previous comment was taken from this site. I have it set to open on:

Early detection of colon cancer by flexible sigmoidoscopy in men

It saves 2 in 1,000, but I thought it was much higher than that.

The main list of procedures is on the right side of this page:

Fact Boxes

Peter Pan said...

Take responsibility for your own health.

When dealing with the medical establishment, you have the right to refuse treatment.

In a few civilized countries, you have access to assisted suicide.

As for what is beyond your control, take that up with the god(s)/goddess(es) of your choice.