Authors hope it will encourage disease/prevention efforts
TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Regardless of the cause, American men have a greater chance of dying then women, and smoking increases any adult's risk of death just as if five years were suddenly added to their age, according to new risk of death charts.
The charts, to be published in the June 10 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute show an American's risk of dying from a given cause in the next 10 years. The charts are grouped by age, sex and smoking status.
"The risk charts provide two basic elements that people need if they are to make sense of the health threats they face: the magnitude of the risk and some context," the authors wrote. "We hope that the availability of these simple charts will facilitate physician-patient discussion about disease risk and help people understand where to focus risk reduction efforts."
According to the charts:
Researchers developed the new charts based on the National Center for Health Statistics Multiple Cause of Death Public Use File for 2004. Unlike previous years, the study now includes former smokers in a separate category.
In an accompanying editorial in the journal, researchers discussed how doctors can best use these charts, saying that just posting them in a physician's waiting room may spark a conversation between patients and the care providers.
"The risk estimates provided bring us a step closer to the goal of communicating effectively about risk in the context of routine medical care. The next steps could involve collaboration with other risk communication researchers to personalize this information and deliver it in ways that maximize its impact on health behaviors," the editorialists concluded.
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SOURCE: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, news release, June 10, 2008
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