Enrico intends to live to be 160 years old.
He is currently 48 years of age.
He has made a brief, but thorough, study of this table which provides official FedGov statistics on the probability of death and remaining life expectancy for in-duh-viduals (and other US citizens of normal rational capabilities), broken down by age and gender. Those broken down by sex will have to apply to another department for a prediction of their mortality.
Enrico inserted a new column in this table, to calculate the incremental life expectancy for males. The results: for males, the incremental life expectancy peaks at the increment between age 9 and age 10, when the increment in life expectancy is 1 year. In other words, a 9 year old male is expected to live to be the same age as a 10 year old male (75.53 years of age). So, the year of aging from age 9 to age 10 is free, it doesn’t come off the total clock.
Thereafter, each year, the expected age you will survive until increases by more than one year, but time comes off the clock. Each year, your remaining life expectancy is a smaller remaining span.
If you live to be 103 years of age, your life expectancy is 104.64. If you life to be 104, your life expectancy is 105.54.
The dominant cause of death for males is some variety of heart disease or cardio vascular disease, or cerebral vascular disease. Stroke and heart attack are the main enemy. Cancer is well up there. If you beat diseases of the arteries and if you beat cancer, you’re doing very well.
Enrico is worried about his arteries, because he is a full figured gal. He is hyper vigilant for technologies that will enable him to dratt arterial disease with impunity.
Recently, Enrico’s physician told Enrico that his girth, and his level of serum cholesterol, and his blood pressure, assured Enrico of an early grave. Enrico’s doc urged manic consumption of statins, and several other substances, as a preventative measure.
Enrico was skeptical. Did you know, there has never ever been a scientific study which has demonstrated a significant correlation between serum cholesterol levels and mortality? Despite dozens of attempts to demonstrate this link?
The statins do clearly and demonstrably reduce mortality in patients who have already had a heart attack. There is substantial evidence that statins reduce mortality in the general population, but the evidence shows that the reduced mortality effect is highly correlated to the probability that a given person suffes from arterial disease.
In other words, if you have arterial disease, by all means, take statins.
Enrico’s doc proposed a sonography exam which examines the thickness of the intima media, the interior wall, of the carotid arteries. Allegedly, the thickness of the interior wall of the carotid arteries is a reliable proxy for the thickness of other arteries, and, allegedly, thickness of the interior wall of arteries is a reliable predictor of the build-up of placque in the arterial walls. Definitively, high levels of placque in the arterial walls is eventually deadly.
Enrico’s arterial sonography revealed an arterial wall thickness which is correlated (allegedly) with low levels of arterial placque.
Enrico looks forward to an interview with his doc, in which Enrico confronts the doc with the paradox of the doc’s assurance of Enrico’s early demise and the results of the sonography.
Enrico told the doc that serum cholesterol levels are not correlated with mortality. The doc asked Enrico where and when Enrico obtained his medical degree. Enrico replied that he had earned no medical degree, but that he HAD learned to read, and that he had read the studies. He asked the doc if HE had read the studies. The blustering response, while unresponsive, suggests an answer in the negative.
You might ask, why does Enrico continue to employ a doc who possesses what might be regarded as a poor empirical capability?
Well, Enrico has learned, to his sadness, that the experienced level of empirical capability amongst docs leaves a great deal to be desired. Enrico concludes that one might be better off finding a doc who is, admittedly, a victim of the medical profession’s herd mentality, but who is willing to consider the possibility that the herd might be headed in the wrong direction. Enrico has been completely unable to detect a doc who is not a victim of the herd, and who is also not a complete wacko.
To the credit of Enrico’s doc, Enrico asked the doc why he had sent Enrico for a cardiac stress test, when it is completely obvious that cardiac stress tests are at best totally useless, and at worst, fatal? Enrico’s doc said that he no longer utilizes cardiac stress tests, because he now realizes that they are in fact totally useless.
Good for him!