The puzzle of rising diagnosis rates of certain nasty diseases

Marya Zilberberg [pictured here] discusses the whats and wherefores of a modern medical puzzle-that-may-not-be-all-that-much-of-a-puzzle.

Certain diseases seem to be occurring more commonly — yet the percentage of the population that die from those diseases remains pretty constant. Zilberberg writes in her Health Care, Etc. blog (referring to a recent BMJ article and to her new book, both of which explain the story in more detail):

How to game mortality data

There is a great illustration in this BMJ article of what I discuss in Chapter 2 of my book: the type of mortality that matters. In the figure below from the paper, note that, as the new diagnoses of each of the cancers rise (green lines), the attendant “Deaths” (red lines) stay unchanged….

(HT Ivan Oransky)