Thursday, 25 July 2013

Mortality rates, averages and the media

Now that it seems a 'mystery rise' of 600 people a week are dying more than average in the UK

there is a great opportunity for the media to start talking nonsense about things like excess deaths, older people more likely to die, why do we always seem to be above average half of the time, and why being above average is something to worry about. Maybe we'll get some daft MPs diving in too.

Hopefully, some sensible analysis will come out. It looks like Public Health England is considering whether it is a spike in respiratory illnesses earlier in the year. Of course it could just represent the nature of the real world where observed numbers tend to differ from those that were expected.

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