Re: Lies, damn lies, and DS
- From: Dann <detox665@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 1 Dec 2008 05:00:56 GMT
On 30 Nov 2008, Mark Jackson said the following in
J.D. Baldwin wrote:
In the previous article, Mark Jackson <mjackson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
He's mischaracterizing the issues discussed inHow about for once stop trying to cheat and actually compare
apples with apples. A big reason why US infant mortality is so
"high" relative to those paradisical countries you lefties drool
over is that the US makes rather more attempts to save preemies
that your enlightened Euro friends give up for dead, and that
inflates US infant mortality rates.
Uh, what? Are you saying that premature babies in European
countries are not counted as babies born, so they don't show
up in their infant mortality stats? Is that possible??
What I read at that link seems perfectly harmonious with the point he
made: births that are counted routinely as stillbirths in, say,
Austria are counted as live births in the U.S., even though roughly
100% of babies of a certain size will die within a few hours, or
maybe days. If you can't figure out how this would skew the
statistics, perhaps you shouldn't go around using tools you don't
If you actually read to the end of the third paragraph (as opposed the
simply accepting what it says up to that point) you will find the
following (footnoted) sentence: "However, all of the countries named
adopted the WHO definition in the late 1980s or early 1990s."
Is this incorrect? If so, please provide a reference.
It is a bit late, so I'll beg for forgiveness for any inaccuracies.
I found this UN document on infant mortality:
It includes the following definitions:
"The perinatal period commences at 22 completed weeks (154 days) of
gestation and ends seven completed days after birth.
The neonatal period begins with birth and ends 28 complete days after
birth. Neonatal deaths may be subdivided into early neonatal deaths,
occurring during the first seven days of life (0-6 days), and late
neonatal deaths, occurring after the seventh day but before the 28th day
of life (7-27 days)."
There is also this INSTRUCTION from WHO regarding inclusion of data:
"5.7.3 Statistics for international comparison
In statistics for international comparison, inclusion of the extremely
low-birth-weight group disrupts the validity of comparisons and is not
recommended. Countries should arrange registration and reporting
procedures so that the events and the criteria for their inclusion in the
statistics can be easily identified. Less mature fetuses and infants not
corresponding to these criteria (i.e. weighing less than 1000 g) should
be excluded from perinatal statistics unless there are legal or other
valid reasons to the contrary, in which case their inclusion must be
explicitly stated. Where birth weight, gestational age and crown-heel
length are not known, the event should be included in, rather than
excluded from, mortality statistics of the perinatal period."
Taking as fact your suggestion that all of the relevant comparable
countries have adopted the UN/WHO definitions for live birth, the above
would suggest that it is possible that some countries may be classifying
infant deaths as perinatal while the US may be classifying the same
deaths as neonatal.
If there is a disparity between the US and the rest of the OECD in both
perinatal and neonatal deaths [Nationmaster doesn't have perinatal data]
then perhaps there is something to the claim of data manipulation.
Please note that I'm not taking a side on this particular issue. I'm
just trying to shed a little more light and a little less heat.
I do support JD's contention that there are sociological factors that
affect the health results that each country achieves.
The only exception I take is to any comparisons with Cuba. Hard core
socialists are first class liars. When Cuba's heath data can be verified
by an independent organization, then I'll begin believing in the Cuban
Until then, all I see is another bulletin from the Ministry of Truth.
blogging at http://web.newsguy.com/dainbramage/blog.htm
Freedom works; each and every time it is tried.
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