The leading preventable cause of death

I have recently been delving into the murky waters of Iatrogenesis.

Iatrogenesis as you may [or may not] know is any consequence of medical treatment or advice to a patient.

The waters are indeed rather muddy as presumably the medical profession and Big Pharma aren't too proud of the facts, so figures are not that easy to come by.  The problem is not in finding figures [there are dozens/hundreds of sites out there all to happy to throw numbers around] but in finding accurate figures.

Just out of interest, I thought I would compare the number of Iatrogenic deaths with the number of deaths attributed to smoking.  I took two sites – One was a study entitled "Death by medicine" and the other site was our friends in the Centers for Disease Control.

According to the CDC, the number of deaths attributed to cigarettes is around 480,000.  This figure includes apparently 40,000 who died from second hand smoke.  As second hand smoke never killed anyone I think we can safely subtract this figure.  They also for some reason throw in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome [actual cause unknown], Influenza [a virus], Tuberculosis [a bacterial infection] and Pneumonia [caused by bacterial or viral infection].  Seeing as none of the viruses or bacteria that I know are smokers, I'm not quite sure why they included these.  We can also safely assume that a very high percentage of those deaths are attributed to smoking, where the person actually would have died anyway through sheer misfortune or genetic cause.  However, I will be extremely generous and allow them a figure of 400,000 deaths per annum from smoking.

Now we come to Iatrogenic deaths.  These deaths are actual deaths with known cataloged causes, and are not some airy fairy figures plucked out of the ether.  The figure given is 783,936.  Wow!  And that is a conservative figure.

So here we have the Tobacco Industry which is accused of all sorts of mass murder [the only industry which kills half its customers blah blah] and is so evil that anyone who has ever had anything to do with it is tarred with the same brush, possibly kills 400,000 a year while our so called "health system" kills twice as many.

Tobacco is the world's biggest preventable killer?

Think on.



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The leading preventable cause of death — 9 Comments

  1. Yes, the figures are quite staggering, aren't they? I think you are being unbelievably generous assuming 400,000 'smoking related' deaths, since we know full well that if a smoker dies at 90 of a heart attack, he will become one of the 'smoking related deaths' statistics. Tobacco Control have been massaging and exaggerating the figures for years. And as one of the doctors who writes a column for the Daily Telegraph said recently : "I wish the obituaries wouldn't write that so-and-so died at 85 of cancer. He didn't. He died of old age." I think you would be closer to the truth if you were to say that 100,000 illnesses leading to death might possibly have been exacerbated by smoking (even that is debatable). But that person would probably have succumbed to that illness anyway (even if he didn't smoke), but maybe a couple of years later.

    • I was quite deliberate in my generosity [no one can possibly argue then].  You can also omit all those who smoke "the occasional cigarette at a weekend" [filthy dirty smokers] and those who gave up smoking twenty years ago [but they're still filthy smokers].  Leave out all those whose death had nothing whatsoever to do with smoking [but they still puffed the odd one] and those who were of a ripe old age anyway and we should be heading rapidly towards zero?

  2. Big Pharma has untold lives on its hands.  A load of crooks who peddle expensive drugs, most of which have hideous side effects.  I can thoroughly recommend "Doctoring Data" by Dr Malcolm Kendrick if you really want some details.  Keep away from doctors and especially hospitals if you want to live out a good life.  And ignore government health advice.

    • But the side effects are great for business!  People then have to purchase more drugs to counter them.  Of course those drugs also have side effects……  etc etc etc.

    • It just goes to show.  It's a bit like Belgium running more smoothly without a government.  What other professions can we do without?

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