Use this thread to discuss the entry New table of interest: Cause of Deaths in the U.S. at the InterNACHI Blog
There are multiple problems with statistical information that is reported this way.
First off, there is no way to verify the source of the information in many entries, and secondly, many represent different time periods.
Lastly the entry smoking deaths is misrepresented. Smoking is not poisonous per se (disregarding the CO portion). People do not just keel over from smoking. They die gradually from other things related to smoking most of which are reported separately in different entries.
The same problem of representation occurs with all cancers, and then individual cancers.
If you’re going to list them that way you might as well list all accidental deaths, all work related or industrial deaths. The possible combinations of general and then specific categories are practically endless.
Each category needs to have the same ‘weight’ or level of specificity to have these numbers form any meaningful comparison.
Is the category causal, contributory, or merely represents a correlation. I’m quite sure some people who fall from ladders actually have heart attacks. The fall is merely contributory. On the other hand if they broke their neck the fall was causal.
My experience has been that when statistics are presented this way the goal is to steer the reader to a particular conclusion. We call that ‘spin.’:neutral:
Lies, Damn lies, Statistics!