At my age, doctor, John Glen was an astronaut!

by Kerry Cue

Roman border dark red

dark red quote 1 The United States contains more people aged 65 and older than the total population of Canada.dark red quote 2

…………………………….The Demographics of Aging Report

Sibylesque Signature dark redRoman border dark red

 

….

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

At your age, what do you expect?


When consulting with your doctor about some illness or injury, you may hear the words, “Well, at your age, what do you expect?” In other words, your illness is ‘your age’. You may want to respond, “At my age, Doctor, John Glen was an astronaut”. John Glen went into space at 77 years of age! Unfortunately, your health provider would more than likely mumble [under their breath], “You’re no John Glen”.

Pelvic Floor Exercises on Beach Now imagine you are a 70-year -old American with a painful knee. What does it actually mean if your doctor glibly comments ‘Well, at your age, what do you expect?’ According to the statisticians there are 18 million Americans in your 65 – 74-year-old age group. As there are 18 million Americans ‘your age’ does that mean they are all limping about the place because of painful knees? The flaw in this logic is simple. You cannot make assumptions about the health of one person from group statistics. When the sample size is 18 million, such assumptions become a joke.

If your doctor thinks YOUR AGE is the disease, he or she might miss a more specific diagnosis. How do you respond to this type of comment by a medical practitioner? One 70-year-old had the answer. In her book, [published over 30 years ago!], ‘Mirror, Mirror, The Terror of Not Being Young’, author, Elissa Melamed, tells the story of a 70-year-old who visited her doctor with a painful right knee. “You’re 70 years old, what do you expect?” he insisted. “My left knee is 70 too”, she replied, “and it’s fine”.

Kerry Cue is a humourist, journalist, mathematician, and author. You can find more of her writing at her blog. Her latest book is a crime novel, Target 91, Penmore Press, Tucson, AZ (2019)

HOME

 

Why we eat ourselves crazy

by Kerry Cue

Roman border green

dark green quote 1A big, juicy burger to anyone who knows what healthy eating is any more.

dark green quote 2

Owen Jones, The Guardian, 22 May 2014

Sibylesque Signature green

Roman border green

Sibylesque Mad Professor labOnce all scientific research was filtered through the peer review process. Initial studies were tested by others and if the results could be replicated, they were eventually published in mainstream papers.

These days, to get funding, researchers release their results directly to newspapers. Later studies may show that the initial research was flawed but the damage is already done.

Here are 6 ways the healthy food message messes with our minds:

1.Oops! Crazy Professor (Superfood Claim Superbollocks)

2. Too many statisticians spoil the broth (Eat Meat and Die. Oops! Got the maths wrong.)

3. Seemed like a good idea at the time (Stop Oxidants? Stop Breathing! The Antioxidant Hoax)

4. Just made that one up (Drinking 8 glasses of water a day for Dummies),

5. Getting carried away with numbers again ( Winning the Salt Wars or Never Trust a statistician)

6. How marketing controls your mind (Would you eat a button? Millions do!)

Photo source: Undisclosed

HOME

Eat Meat and Die. Oops! Got the maths wrong.

By Kerry Cue

Moroon border 2

maroon quote-1Be a vegetarian. Give peas a chance.maroon quote-2

        Coffee MugSibyls Signature maroon

Moroon border 2

Every time a study finds this or that food is good or bad for you they usually make one huge error. It’s called a SAMPLING BIAS. ( See Ben Goldacre @ TED Talks.)

Red wines good for you. Red wines bad for you. Red wine causes cancer. Ditto coffee etc. What’s going on?

Sibylesque Paleo Diet

One newspaper article screamed ‘Cancer a risk for lovers of red meat’. So Real Men Eat Meat and Die. There are many good arguments for being a vegetarian, this does not include health statistics.

This claim was made but the article did not explain the maths. Big meat eaters tend also to be big drinkers and smokers, who are obese, unfit and the rest. This study has tried to separate out meat eating from other unhealthy lifestyle choices using the Cox Regression. Mathematical wizardry has produced these numbers but they don’t mean much.

If the study used a control group of unfit, drinking, smoking, obese vegans then comparing mortality rates over 10 years would be interesting. But where do you find half a million of them????????

 

Photos: Vintage Circus Photo Blog

HOME

 

At my age, doctor, John Glen was an astronaut!

by Kerry Cue

Roman border  dark red

dark red quote 1 The United States contains more people aged 65 and older than the total population of Canada.dark red quote 2

…………………………….The Demographics of Aging Report

Sibylesque Signature dark redRoman border  dark red

 

….

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

At your age, what do you expect?


When consulting with your doctor about some illness or injury, you may hear the words, “Well, at your age, what do you expect?” In other words, your illness is ‘your age’. You may want to respond, “At my age, Doctor, John Glen was an astronaut”. John Glen went into space at 77 years of age! Unfortunately, your health provider would more than likely mumble [under their breath], “You’re no John Glen”.

Pelvic Floor Exercises on Beach Now imagine you are a 70-year -old American with a painful knee. What does it actually mean if your doctor glibly comments ‘Well, at your age, what do you expect?’ According to the statisticians there are 18 million Americans in your 65 – 74-year-old age group. As there are 18 million Americans ‘your age’ does that mean they are all limping about the place because of painful knees? The flaw in this logic is simple. You cannot make assumptions about the health of one person from group statistics. When the sample size is 18 million, such assumptions become a joke.

If your doctor thinks YOUR AGE is the disease, he or she might miss a more specific diagnosis. How do you respond to this type of comment by a medical practitioner? One 70-year-old had the answer. In her book, [published over 30 years ago!], ‘Mirror, Mirror, The Terror of Not Being Young’, author, Elissa Melamed, tells the story of a 70-year-old who visited her doctor with a painful right knee. “You’re 70 years old, what do you expect?” he insisted. “My left knee is 70 too”, she replied, “and it’s fine”.

Photograph from USA Social History Archives

HOME