Tying the Knot Is Tied to Longer Life Span, New Data Shows

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Married folks not only live longer than singles, but the longevity gap between the two groups is growing, U.S. government health statisticians report.

The age-adjusted death rate for the married declined by 7% between 2010 and 2017, according to a new study from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Not only is the rate for married lower, but it’s declining more than any other group,” said lead author Sally Curtin, an NCHS statistician.

Statistically, death rate is the annual number of deaths for every 100,000 people. It’s adjusted so that a 26-year-old and an 80-year-old married or widowed or divorced are on equal footing.

The new study reported that the death rate for never-marrieds declined only 2%, while that for divorced people hasn’t changed at all.

Worst off were the widowed, for whom the death rate rose 6%. They have the highest death rate of all the categories, researchers said.

Married men in 2017 had an age-adjusted death rate of 943 per 100,000, compared to 2,239 for widowers. The death rate was 1,735 per 100,000 for lifelong bachelors and 1,773 for divorced men.

Married women had a death rate of 569 per 100,000, two-and-a-half times lower than the 1,482 rate for widows. The death rate was 1,096 for divorcees and 1,166 for never-married women.

Part of the marriage benefit could be explained by the fact that people in good health are more likely to marry, said Katherine Ornstein, an associate professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Once you’re in a marriage, there are a host of tangible and intangible benefits that give you a health advantage, experts said.

Married people are more likely to have health insurance, Ornstein said, and therefore, have better access to health care.

Being married also means you have someone looking out for you and reinforcing healthy behaviors, said Michael Rendall, director of the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland.


“Having somebody there who’s your spouse will tend to promote positive health behaviors — going to the doctor, eating better, getting screened,” he said.

This is particularly true of men, who previous studies have shown derive more health benefits from marriage than women.

“Men tend to have fewer skills than women in terms of looking after themselves,” Rendall said.

Finally, the companionship of marriage staves off health problems associated with loneliness and isolation, Ornstein said.

“Social support and the social engagement that comes with being married is a huge benefit for mental health and physical health,” she said.

All these benefits also explain why widowed people tend to do so badly after the death of their spouse, Ornstein said.

Widows and widowers have to deal with heartache, loneliness and financial stress, she said. They no longer have a partner looking after them, so they are more likely to neglect their health.

The study found some gender differences in trends.

While the death rate for married men and women declined by the same 7%, women’s overall death rate was much lower.

But the death rates among men in all other marital categories remained essentially the same between 2010 and 2017, researchers found.

On the other hand, the death rate for widowed women rose 5%, while the rate for never-married women declined by 3% and remained stable for divorced women.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Sally Curtin, M.A., statistician, U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Hyattsville, Md.; Katherine Ornstein, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor, geriatrics and palliative medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City; Michael Rendall, Ph.D., director, Maryland Population Research Center, and sociologist, University of Maryland, College Park; NCHS’sHealth E-Stats, Oct. 10, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });


WebMD Health

FDA: Pricey Drug Approved on Manipulated Data

Aug. 7, 2019 — The maker of the world’s most expensive drug gave manipulated data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when it approved the drug, the agency said Tuesday.

In late May, the FDA approved the gene therapy Zolgensma to treat children with a severe form of spinal muscular atrophy, a leading genetic cause of infant death. The drug costs $ 2.125 million for a one-time treatment, CBS News reported.

A month after the approval, the FDA discovered a “data manipulation issue that impacts the accuracy of certain data from product testing performed in animals,” according to the agency.

The FDA said the drug’s maker AveXis, a unit of Novartis, knew about the data problem before the drug was approved, but did not inform the FDA until after the drug was given the green light, CBS News reported.

“The agency will use its full authorities to take action, if appropriate, which may include civil or criminal penalties,” according to Peter Marks, an FDA official.

Despite the inaccurate data, the FDA said it “remains confident that Zolgensma should remain on the market.”

“We maintain that the totality of the evidence demonstrating the product’s effectiveness and its safety profile continue to provide compelling evidence supporting an overall favorable benefit-risk profile,” Novartis said in an emailed statement, CBS News reported.

“At no time during the investigation did the findings indicate issues with product safety, efficacy or quality,” according to the company.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });
WebMD Health

KyoAni Fire: Death Toll Rises, Server Data Survives, CEO Vows “We Will Not Vanish”

The death toll of the Kyoto Animation fire continued to rise Saturday when another man succumbed to his injuries in hospital, the 35th life claimed by the blaze caused by suspected arsonist Shinji Aoba. The names of the victims have still not been revealed, though police announced last week that identification of the deceased had been completed. Investigators began searching Aoba’s home in Saitama on Friday, confiscating evidence that appears to link the suspect to KyoAni. He has been unconscious in hospital since the attack.

As the studio looks forward to recovering from this tragedy, Japanese media reports that data has been recovered from the server housed on the first floor of the building. The server was surrounded by concrete walls, preventing direct fire or water damage. An unnamed specialist recovered the data, which includes digitized key animation drawings — computer workstations and paper drawings were all destroyed by the fire. The studio’s much anticipated feature film Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memories Doll is due for release in Japan this fall.

On Tuesday, a source told media that donations to the studio in support of fire victims, survivors and their families have surpassed 1 billion yen ($ 9.2 million USD). Contributions have poured in from individuals and companies around the world, including a crowdfunding campaign by U.S.-based Sentai Filmworks which has raised over $ 2.3 million.

An official statement from Kyoto Animation CEO Hideaki Hatta was posted to the studio’s website in Japanese, Chinese, Korean and German. The English version reads:

“An unprecedented atrocity has robbed many of our friends and colleagues of their bright futures and has left many deeply injured. News from all over the world tells us that amazingly many number of people has sent us their hearts and prayers, which are like candles in the darkness, for those of us trapped in the darkness of deepest grief.

There are many friends and colleagues who are hospitalized and suffering, fighting for their lives. Please give us some time.

We promise that Kyoto Animation will continue to create animation that help people have dreams, hope and impress them. Kyoto animation will continue to make its employees and staff lead happy lives, and contribute to society and local community. I assure you that Kyoto Animation will not give up, we will not go quietly into the night…we will not vanish without a fight!”

Animation Magazine

Researchers Seek Firefighters for Data on Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, April 5, 2019 — Learning more about firefighters’ increased risk for certain cancers is the aim of a voluntary registry being created by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

It’s seeking more than 1.1 million firefighters to participate in the National Firefighter Registry.

“Firefighters put their lives on the line to ensure our safety in emergencies, but their jobs may also put them at risk for long-term health effects such as cancer,” Dr. John Howard, director of NIOSH, said in an agency news release.

Firefighters have higher odds for digestive, lung, throat and urinary cancers.

The registry will also highlight advances to safeguard firefighters, including improvements in the design and care of personal protective equipment, as well as practices to reduce exposure to hazardous substances.

“We look forward to receiving this formal input from our partners in the fire service on how we can make sure they are engaged in this process as we move forward. Their contributions will be important to the overall success of this registry,” said Kenny Fent, head of the National Firefighter Registry program.

Enrollment is expected to begin in 2020. The registry is especially seeking minorities and women, who have not been well-represented in past research.

A NIOSH study launched in 2010 included more than 30,000 career firefighters serving between 1950 and 2010, the largest study ever of U.S. firefighters.

It examined not only deaths from cancer, but also diagnoses of certain kinds of cancer, including testicular and prostate cancers, which have higher survival rates. It also looked at other causes of death to better understand firefighters’ risk compared to the general public.

Results of that study led to a call for a national registry with a focus on understudied groups of firefighters, according to NIOSH.

More information

The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has more on firefighters.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: April 2019 – Daily MedNews

Health Canada Data Shows Dramatic Increase of Medical Cannabis Patients

Health Canada has just released its latest figures for medical marijuana usage in the Great White North, with data as recent as September 2017 showing an ever-increasing number of Canadians are turning to the healing properties of cannabis. The overall number of patients registered to access cannabis in April was 174,503 and by the end […]

Anti-Pot Group Spins Bad News Out of Good News Data About Youth Weed Use

The Colorado Department of Revenue is going to start displaying legal cannabis sales-revenue data on its website dating back to 2014, when retail cannabis sales began. Previously, the DOR had included only monthly tax and license revenue reports.

With its earning power under a microscope since the debut of legal sales, pot and the money it brings in continue to make headlines. While anyone interested in learning the state’s sales figures could calculate those numbers based on cannabis sales-tax rates and revenue data, the DOR’s decision now makes checking in on Colorado’s new economy much easier.

“We know this information is highly desired by the general public, media and researchers,” DOR executive director Mike Hartman says in an announcement of the new system. “To that end, in our efforts to be as transparent as possible, we will now provide aggregate sales data. That, coupled with state tax revenue data already provided, will give an accurate picture of the financial footprint of this burgeoning industry.”

Colorado has sold over $  4.2 billion worth of cannabis since 2014, according to DOR data.

Colorado has sold over $ 4.2 billion worth of cannabis since 2014, according to DOR data.

Colorado Department of Revenue

The new reports will include medical and recreational revenue from January 2014 up to the most recent month of data available; the reports will also be broken down by county, providing some new and interesting information about regional sales trends. According to the newest set of figures released this week, Colorado had $ 127.7 million in cannabis sales in October, down from $ 135.7 million in September, but up from the $ 116.6 million in October 2016.

Dispensaries in Denver County accounted for nearly 40 percent of October sales, the data shows, responsible for nearly half of the state’s $ 34 million in medical sales and over a third of its $ 93.6 million in retail sales. The new web page also includes helpful graphics with updated sales information, including a line graph of bi-monthly sales info from the past four years.

The graph shows a steady dip in overall sales each year once the summer months come to an end, which is largely driven by a decrease in the retail side once the big tourism season is over. According to cannabis data-analysis firm BDS Analytics, seven of 2016’s highest-earning weekends for Colorado dispensaries fell in summer months, and only one came after September.

State's New Monthly Pot Sales Numbers Show Interesting Trends (2)

Colorado Department of Revenue

Toke of the Town

National Crime Data Shows Marijuana Arrests Dropping, Still Happen More Than Once a Minute

The FBI just released its annual Crime in the United States report, detailing national crime data for 2015. According to the report, marijuana arrests are at a two decade low. This is definitely a good sign, but even one marijuana arrest is too many, and more than one marijuana arrest occurs every minute.fbi

Huffington Post reports:

…authorities in the U.S. made 643,000 arrests for marijuana-related charges in 2015 ? or about one every 49 seconds. Charges related to the drug accounted for 5.9 percent of all arrests, and about 43.2 percent of all drug arrests. 

The number of marijuana arrests has been generally decreasing since peaking in 2007. That year, police made 872,720 total arrests related to the drug, including 775,137 for possession. Just about 574,000 marijuana-related arrests in 2015 involved possession, and arrests for the sale and manufacture of the drug reached a nearly 25-year low.

Opponents to legalization often downplay the significance of marijuana arrests, arguing that they don’t lead to severe punishments and that a very small percentage of Americans wind up jailed for low-level marijuana offenses. 

Yet a recent report from the Drug Policy Alliance found that getting arrested for marijuana can still significantly affect a person, even though marijuana-related penalties have been scaled back in many places over recent years. 

“A marijuana arrest is no small matter,” reads the report, which also shows that most people arrested for marijuana are held in jail for a day or more. Many are also branded with a permanent criminal record, which can hurt their employment status and access to education and housing. 

Additionally, a one-year HuffPost analysis of jail deaths found that several inmates arrested on a marijuana offense died behind bars.

Such arrests are also costly ? authorities spend approximately $ 3.6 billion annually enforcing laws against marijuana possession, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

With five states considering initiatives to regulate marijuana like alcohol in November, another three voting on medical marijuana initiatives, and lobbying efforts planned in dozens of states next year, we could start to see those numbers drop even more in the coming years. There is still much work to do.


The post National Crime Data Shows Marijuana Arrests Dropping, Still Happen More Than Once a Minute appeared first on MPP Blog.

MPP Blog

Legalizing Marijuana Reduces DEA Eradication Costs, Data Suggests

Newly released data from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) appears to show that legalizing marijuana does what advocates have long promised: It reduces the unregulated cannabis market and cuts law enforcement costs. The DEA allocated exactly zero dollars and zero cents for marijuana eradication in Colorado for Fiscal Year 2016, which is down from the agency’s $ 80,000 […]

While California May Appear to Have Marijuana Figured Out, New Data Shows Major Flaws

To the rest of the world, California seems like a westernized Amsterdam, a half-baked haven for stoners. But is it really as pot-friendly as we think? New data suggests otherwise. Though California blazed the trail for medical marijuana in America back in 1996 and decriminalized possession of under an ounce of the plant in 2010 […]

Marijuana Trafficking Reduced After Legalization, Federal Data Shows

Newly compiled data from the federal government shows that in the years since states started legalizing marijuana, illegal trafficking in the drug has dropped sharply.

“The number of marijuana traffickers rose slightly over time until a sharp decline in fiscal year 2013 and the number continues to decrease,” reads a new document released on Friday by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.


Colorado and Washington State voted to legalize marijuana in 2012. Two years later, Alaska and Oregon followed suit, along with Washington, D.C.

Marijuana policy reform advocates said the new data does not come as a surprise.

“Like adults who consume alcohol, adults who consume marijuana would prefer to purchase it legally in a regulated market instead of in the underground market,” Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, told in an email. “Consumers are driven by convenience, variety, quality, and safety. They want to stop in a store, choose from a wide selection of tested, packaged and labeled products, and they want to do it without fear of being robbed or arrested.”

In addition to choice and convenience considerations, many people who use marijuana would rather put their dollars into a legal and regulated industry made up of responsible businesses instead of supporting organized crime networks that often settle disputes with violence.

“Purchasing cannabis in the illicit market is not something that the millions of cannabis consumers in the United States relish doing,” said Amanda Reiman, marijuana law and policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. “Besides the risks associated with the illicit market (arrest, violence), most cannabis consumers do not want to support cartels with their dollars any more than they want to support mass-produced, slave labor created clothing. For many consumers, supporting legal cannabis means supporting the local economy.”

In a Twitter post, the Sentencing Commission characterized the data as showing a “continued decline in marijuana trafficking.”

It is likely that at least five additional states will have measures to legalize marijuana on their November ballots this year.

“As more and more states adopt laws that regulate marijuana for adult use, we can expect to continue seeing a decline in illegal cultivation and trafficking,” said MPP’s Tvert. “The only thing that will delay its elimination is some states taking longer than others to adopt sensible marijuana policies.”

Photo Courtesy of Jan Faukner.


Most in Treatment for Marijuana Were Referred By Criminal Justice System, Federal Data Shows

A familiar talking point deployed by supporters of marijuana prohibition focuses on the seemingly large share of people in drug treatment who are seeking help for a cannabis use disorder.

A new federal study sheds some light on how meaningful — or not meaningful — that claim really is.

Nearly 52 percent of people in drug treatment primarily for marijuana were referred by the criminal justice system, according to the latest Treatment Episode Data Set, which was released last Thursday. Fewer than one out of five people in treatment for marijuana checked themselves in voluntarily or were referred by another individual.

Among the criminal justice referrals, 44.1 percent were from probation or parole officers, 16.2 percent were from courts and 2.2 percent were from prisons, according to the new study published by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Full data available in Table 2.6 here.)

“Primary marijuana admissions were less likely than all admissions [for other drugs]combined to be self- or individually referred to treatment (18 vs. 37 percent),” the study found. “Primary marijuana admissions were most likely to be referred by a criminal justice source.”

In other words, many cannabis consumers are being forced by cops, courts and corrections officers to undergo drug treatment that they themselves don’t feel they actually need.

At a time when America is experiencing an epidemic of opioid overdoses, drug policy reform advocates have questioned whether it makes sense for the criminal justice system to mandate that cannabis users take up so much space in drug treatment programs.

According to a separate federal study, nearly 22.5 million people in the U.S. met the criteria for a substance use disorder requiring treatment, but just over one in ten of such individuals actually received treatment. (See Table 5.51A in the PDF linked above)

The new data on admissions and referrals shows that even among people who are able to get treatment, many have to wait to be admitted. Thirty-eight percent of people seeking treatment for any substance had to wait at least a day to be admitted, with 9.2 percent having to wait at least two weeks. (See Table 2.14 here.)

That kind of delay can make a crucial difference; if people dealing with severe substance misuse disorders don’t get help as soon as they realize they need it, some will change their minds or relapse.

While some people do in fact develop a dependency on marijuana that negatively impacts their lives and can be helped with treatment, the vast majority of people who consume cannabis do so without problems.

The new federal data shows that legalizing marijuana — and taking its users out of the criminal justice system — could free up space in drug treatment programs for people who actually want and need help.


New Data: One Marijuana Arrest Every 45 Seconds in U.S.

There’s more than one marijuana arrest in the U.S. every minute, on average, according to new federal report released Monday.

In 2014 there were 700,993 marijuana arrests in the U.S., according to the FBI data. That’s one cannabis bust every 45 seconds.

The new numbers also show that marijuana arrests comprised 44.9 percent of the 1,561,231 drug arrests that took place last year, and that drug crimes are the largest category of offenses people were arrested for. Of all marijuana arrests, 88.4 percent were for possession alone.

Cannabis arrests are slightly up from 2013 despite the fact that American attitudes continue to become more supportive of legalization, according to polls.

“These numbers refute the myth that nobody actually gets arrested for using marijuana,” Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a press release. “It’s hard to imagine why more people were arrested for marijuana possession when fewer people than ever believe it should be a crime.”

Meanwhile, the FBI reported that more than a third of murders and nearly 40 percent of rapes went unsolved in 2014.

“Law enforcement officials should not be wasting their time and resources arresting and prosecuting adults for using marijuana,” Tvert said. “While law enforcement was busy making nearly three quarters of a million marijuana arrests, more than 35% of murders went unsolved, the clearance rate for rape was less than 40%, and for robbery and property crimes, it was below 30%.”

Click here to see a chart of marijuana and drug arrest data since 1980.