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06/14/2006 Archived Entry: "#1 Cause of death in America? -- none of the usual suspects"

WHAT'S THE #1 CAUSE OF DEATH IN AMERICA? Cancer? Heart disease? According to this 2004 article, it is "Death by Medicine."

Sorry, I know it's two years old. But fascinating. Why hasn't there been a ton of discussion about its claims?

We're periodically hit with astonishing stats about the number of patients killed by adverse drug reactions (more than 100,000) or medical error (about the same). But the authors of this study dug into all the available literature and came up with this astonishing total:

The latter category includes drug reactions, deaths during unneeded surgical procedures, deaths from infections acquired in hospitals, deaths from malnutrition and bedsores in long-institutionalized patients, etc. (Deaths from bedsores?)

It's a long, highly detailed article. However, it also has a very big ax to grind & so should perhaps be taken with several grains of salt. I'd be interested to hear what some of you folks in the medical profession have to say about it.

Even if deaths from medical practice are fewer than claimed (if, for instance, they were "only" a quarter million or so per year), it would still be bitterly ironic. We conduct a nationwide drug war, destroying millions of lives, to fight chemicals that kill fewer than 20,000 people per year. International bureaucrats, heavily backed by pharmaceutical companies, are perpetually trying to ban or tightly control every form of vitamin or nutritional supplement based on miniscule dangers. But we practically worship -- and generously subsidize with taxes -- those who kill us in far higher numbers.

(Thank you to Pyramid Man for the find -- and for health.)

Posted by Claire @ 03:05 PM CST

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