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Dementia Leading Cause of Death!

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 11 days ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

I'm allowed to have a little rant from time to time, right? as long as I fabricate at least a vague link back to Apnea, so here goes.

Dementia Leading Cause of Death!

Statements of this kind have been blazoned across our news a number of times over the past few years.


When I first heard it I cynically thought: You're joking right?

How does that make any sense at all?

Isn't dementia deterioration of the brain leading to confusion?

Could it really be THE NUMBER ONE cause of death?

If it's really a cause of death how do people die of confusion?

Well this is where I could form a vague link to Apnea because it is possible to suffer sufficient damage to stop breathing (like Central Sleep Apnea) and other vital systems can also fail in a similar way but I doubt that many sufferers die from such direct intervention by dementia.

There are lots of indirect ways that dementia could kill you, taking the wrong meds, stepping in front of a bus, falling over in the shower, swallowing food the wrong way, but wouldn't the cause of death be listed as misadventure or trauma or infection....

So where do the numbers come from?

From the bureau of statistics who gathered the numbers and stamped them as real?

From the media who swallowed the story, amplified it and launched it at the public?

From the politicians who rallied behind it like their lives depended on it?

From the scientists who bought into this dubious reality?

From the medics who were strangely silent.

From the public who embraced it as pure truth and mourned for the bad old days when people died of simple things like cancer or pneumonia?

It looks like they all contributed to the final outcome but where did the numbers come from in the first place?

The simple answer is death certificates but how could most of them list dementia as the cause of death?

The truth (according to BUG) is that it is the result of a long term Funding War combined with an orchestrated Publicity Campaign.

The Funding War was a protracted battle between the big health interests, fighting for supremacy, prestige, power, influence and of course money.

The aim of the game was to capture the largest segment of the ill and dying and convert them to statistics. The statistics would determine who got the biggest slice of the research funding.

So how do you build numbers in this game?

Divide and conquer!

Form alliances with associated fields and split the powerful opposition councils into smaller camps fighting with each other then poach as many of their patients as possible. (If a patient was diagnosed with Parkinson's but died of a heart attack induced by cancer therapy they would be claimed by the player with the highest numbers, the most leverage. Winner takes all!)

As with Monopoly the first player to gain a clear advantage wins by annexing related domains and obsorbing them into an ever growing power base and then they are in a position to rewrite history and change the rules to ensure their continued supremacy.

Our government has watched this process and tweaked it from time to time to their own ends but some years back they got together with statisticians and medical authorities as well as insurance companies and welfare agencies in response to a growing concern.

They had become aware that the ageing population would become too expensive to care for because having more old people dramatically increases the proportion of people with dementia and most of these would not depart within an affordable time frame but, due to advances in ongoing medical research, would linger for way too long and require carers and a wide range of extra services that would cripple the bottom line of not just our government and hospitals but also insurance companies and other health care systems.

They needed to find answers.

The obvious answer was to fund even more research but research into prevention of dementia NOT research into other medical issues that might result in extending the average human lifespan even further and making the problem worse.

The government would need support to assign new funding to dementia research.

But they were already committed to funding a lot of other research. Things like cancer or heart disease or climate change or alternate energy

If they could channel that funding in a new direction they could kill two birds with one stone so to speak but it would require a powerful argument to withdraw funding that was already promised so how could they justify such a big shift and ensure the necessary support?

They needed to create a situation where nobody could dispute the urgency and the need. A statistical imperative. Numbers are safe. Numbers can be trusted. Numbers carry weight so .... rig the numbers!

The method to achieve it was already in place from The Funding Wars!

A few minor tweaks would help.

Change the death certificate until it says what you need it to say. Rewrite the rules about how they are to be filled in and how they are to be interpreted and voila!

A clear winner emerges with a bold new message that can be used to orchestrate a national media campaign complete with press releases and a totally new focus for research funding.

The publicity campaign has worked and suddenly everybody is dying of dementia (except BUG) and if we wish to avoid our doom we must support the research.

25 million people now know and accept that dementia is the number one cause of death in Australia!

Am I the only one who isn't so far gone with dementia that I dare to question the reality of my imminent demise or is it that I am the only one who is so far gone with dementia that I can't see what is plainly obvious to everybody else?

What do those thousands of people per year die of? Is there only one possible suspect?

Dementia may have been an accomplice but so was age and obesity and inactivity and diabetes and environment and genetics and simply being born.

I don't deny the need for action in this area but the motives and the methodology seemed a bit suspect even before I add a twist or two of my own and the level of complicity and/or stupidity is just embarrassing.

The real problem for me is that these are the same people that are managing the environment and every other element of our lives (including the future policies for sleep therapy) and they are my neighbours.

Of course this would not be complete without a proper disclaimer so here goes:

The events, characters and claims depicted in this dubious piece of literature are blatantly fictitious, stolen from an alternate reality. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dying, or to actual facts or events imaginary or otherwise, is purely coincidental and the opinions foolishly expressed here certainly do not reflect the opinions of the 25 million potential dementia sufferers on this confused continent.

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Sierra +0 points · 10 days ago Sleep Enthusiast

There are three kinds of lies; lies, damned lies, and statistics!

On a quick look here this seems to be a problem in classification. If you look at the statistics in the US for 2015, Alzheimer's is 5th.

US Statistics

Australia Statistics

What the Australia list does is subdivide categories that the US lumps together, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. That makes Alzheimer's jump up in the list. Either that or there is something in the Australian water!

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 8 days ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

Dividing the competition and uniting the allies was one strategy.

This was the other strategy.

"Leading causes are based on the underlying cause of death, defined by the World Health Organization as the disease or external event which initiated the train of morbid events leading to death."

So once someone is diagnosed with dementia the actual cause of death is irrelevant. They are effectively doomed. Dementia is the only thing they are allowed to die of.

If a flu epidemic wipes out a few thousand people in nursing homes most of them will be listed as dying of dementia.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 10 days ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

Yes it must be the water! :)

I was going to write a followup article along these lines:

CPAP reduces heart attacks

CPAP users live longer

CPAP users develop dementia

CPAP causes dementia

Dementia causes death (see previous article)

Then the obvious step is to remove all that clutter in the middle and just go with

CPAP Causes Death!

But it seemed a bit irresponsible so no. I won't do that. :)

Can anyone recommend a good water filter?

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MountainGoat +0 points · 9 days ago

Ah yeah, the causality v correlation bugbear. I often think the only reason politicians keep funding Statistics Bureaus is because it is so useful to be able to slice and dice statistics until it shows the picture you want it to.

I for example love that if you're unemployed and got so dejected with your job applications being continually rejected that you stop looking for work, then you are no longer deemed to be unemployed, because you're not looking for work!

If you want to read some real eye-poppers as far as statistics go, Google heuristic CPI and look for The Quality Adjustment Method. A link to a fascinating article below. A relevant example as far as CPAP goes, if a newer machine reduces AHI by 50%, then the price of the new machine is reduced by 50%, because it is 50% better than the old machine. That 50% discounted price is then compared with the full price of the old machine. I'm sure you can see where this leads.

And if you can then suppress CPI in this way by adjusting many things, the discount to get from nominal GDP to real GDP is smaller, meaning you can claim more economic growth.


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Sierra +0 points · 9 days ago Sleep Enthusiast

Or the little math quirk that investment advisers never tell you about. If your investments go down 50% in one year and go back up 50% the next year, you are still 25% in the hole. It takes a 100% gain to recover from a 50% drop.

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 9 days ago Original Poster Sleep Commentator

Oh I do love the QAM

I was aware of the concept but not the impact on GDP, inflation and wages.

That is definitely my kind of maths and it leaves so much scope for creative accounting!

No wonder most western countries have relatively stable economies nowadays.

The end results are totally adjustable.

Tweak a few formula's and you get whatever bottom line you want.

Makes me want to go back to playing with spreadsheets and databases. :)

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