Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Be careful what you read - you've probably seen some bad information

Ah, Facebook.

You can read blog postings there. I enjoy seeing photos and news from my daughters and grandsons, plus news about other family and friends, especially those I seldom see.

But as you know, Facebook is fraught with bad information these days. I recently ran across a supposed list of causes of death so far this year - a list that is NOT reliable information. And since stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, that information is important. Right information, that is.

I won't reproduce this falsehood here, but you can read on snopes.com about the supposed list of causes of death:
The list was problematic in several aspects, however. First of all, the displayed figures for 2016 are simply projections based on past trends, as up-to-date information of this nature simply isn't available. The most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concerning causes of death tallies mortality data from 2014.
The list mingles diseases - heart disease, for example - with substances: tobacco and alcohol. Obesity itself seldom actually kills anyone, but it's on the list. It's what accompanies obesity or tobacco or alcohol abuse - heart disease and stroke, for example - that can be fatal. A cigarette itself generally doesn't cause a death. But multiple cigarettes can bring about a cause of death.

Here's the actual list of the 2014 leading causes of death in the United States, from this report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

That year is the latest available.

And it's OK to question what you read on Facebook!

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