[FRIAM] Friday AM

David Eric Smith desmith at santafe.edu
Tue Jan 3 15:31:55 EST 2023

Long a favorite topic of mine.

Let me send you a link; almost-surely not the best, but done with ~1min of google searching images:
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0233384 <https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0233384>
See the 5th figure for actual data, rather than models.  

But my understanding is that Gompertz mortality statistics are unbelievably universal across metazoans.  The parameters can be shifted by lots of factors, but the functional form (which takes only a couple of parameters) is absurdly more robust than one would expect given all that varies.

Anyway, to the extent that there is Gompertz mortality, there is a natural associated age for age-associated-death.  For people it’s somewhere in the 70-80 range, and I think there can be as much as a 10-year difference across different world gene pools (Japanese being at the upper end, and maybe some other group in Central Asia east of the Caucasus; I forget).

A thing I remember being told by a guy who does this kind of work, there seem to be two modes between development-linked diseases (think, childhood leukemias), and age-associated diseases.  We have made remarkable progress on many of the former, and very little on many of the latter.  Also (and I got this from researchers at Einstein college in Yeshiva some years ago, or from a stack of their papers), if one avoids rather specific risk factors, like welding or smoking for lung cancers, or dioxin exposures for male breast cancers or the like, the leading predictor for most of the old-age diseases is just your age.  So it has (to me) the look of what Holmse’s Wonderful One-Hoss Shay would be if redone with Poisson statistics, to become a minimum-information process.  The nail that stuck up got hammered down (extra resources for any disease that becomes visible to selection) that now all the nails are at about the same height, and there is some kind of ambivalence frontier.

My own anecdotal experience suggests that my previous paragraphs can’t possibly be right, since there clearly are common and rare diseases of the old.  But I didn’t make this stuff up, and got it from some serious literature.



> On Jan 3, 2023, at 1:01 PM, glen <gepropella at gmail.com> wrote:
> ">144 mmol/l with 21% elevated risk of premature mortality". My last test a week ago showed 144! Whew! I guess I have a normal risk for premature mortality. 8^D
> The concept of "premature death" is flat out ridiculous. But our inability to well-define it raises some interesting questions.
> • deprivation (by the dead, by the rest of us) - is the death of Ramanujan at 32 *more* premature than the death of some rando at 32?
> • life expectancy seems like yet another instance of people not understanding statistics
> • quality of life - is the death of a 20 year old born into and likely to live in poverty *as* premature as the death of a 20 year old born with a silver spoon?
> • natural selection - is it premature for a 35 year old who's bred, say, 10 children to die?
>  · or is it premature for them to die before their children have children? I.e. is being a grandparent a necessary element of a breeder's life?
> • consequentialism - had Hitler dyed at age 35, would that have been premature?
> I know this seems like a tangent upon tangents. But it's not. It's nonsense to relate serum Na to premature mortality because premature mortality is nonsense. Prevalence of chronic disease seems, to me, a little more well-formed ... but not by much. Biological age just seems like pseudoscience to me, the flip side of Vampirism. I'd welcome an education, though.
> On 1/2/23 13:34, Roger Critchlow wrote:
>> There was a hacker news item this morning about maintaining hydration and chronic illness:
>> https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=https%3a%2f%2fwww.thelancet.com%2fjournals%2febiom%2farticle%2fPIIS2352-3964&c=E,1,faHDDOmfSmBCowvyxqbh2EUz38-Hun0lWmP7p9abh_tufHZOPXeJwvh0zeVEv_pEJaprXTWcos80ECDWoak-cqMSeiutR3SgT9gK0pLzL_sP_rE,&typo=1(22)00586-2/fulltext <https://linkprotect.cudasvc.com/url?a=https%3a%2f%2fwww.thelancet.com%2fjournals%2febiom%2farticle%2fPIIS2352-3964&c=E,1,3LHxHO_rViNgwp08a3UTrLq1b_6yBaBjAfTKkzoiGgk1aUzN0rPYsbYzlJsfApi25gw42MqluJCqfiu35DTgrGehNVRLAaY9x0j7RY6uGcDwh4A,&typo=1(22)00586-2/fulltext>
>> those who exceeded 142 mmol/l of serum sodium in middle age got sicker more often later in life.
>> It's the first measurement on my comprehensive metabolic panels.
>> It would be really funny if there actually was "One simple trick to staying healthy!", but it was only discovered after we had conditioned ourselves into never reading any article with such a title.
>> -- rec --
>> On Mon, Jan 2, 2023 at 2:04 PM glen <gepropella at gmail.com <mailto:gepropella at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>    I think a mobility checkup would be more useful than blood tests. See if you can stand on one foot for 10 seconds. Spin you around and measure eye wobble. Measure joint angles in a sit-to-stand test. Etc. Strength and reflex tests would also be useful. I *suppose* cognitive testing trends would be useful. I'd love to see, eg how my performance varies on something like a memory test or some logic puzzles. With the covid loss of smell and taste thing, it would even be cool to have a battery of sensory stimuli of some kind. If the personality tests had any credibility, they'd be interesting to track over time as well. Would you learn anything? IDK. But it would be more interesting than the typical test results.
>>    On 1/2/23 12:01, Marcus Daniels wrote:
>>     > The last time I went in for a wellness check, the doctor seemed annoyed that I was there.   I left, humiliated.
>>     >
>>     > But it has been a while, and I am wondering what it would take to actually learn something from a checkup.  Is there some standard package of broad blood tests and/or MRIs that would be a clue I was becoming gravely ill?  I was just shopping for new insurance and was excited to learn all the things I can prepare for (Aflac's various products).   What would I even ask for?
>>     >
>>     > A few years ago, I had a car accident on the snow in Santa Fe and had to have quite a bit of work done on my car.   I have to say billing the insurance for that was very satisfying.  I had been paying all these years and had nothing to show for it.   It is especially true for my medical coverage.
>>     >
>>     > To me going to the doctor is just an opportunity to get COVID-19 in the waiting room.  How can I get more from this experience?
> -- 
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