Stat of the day

Charles 7 Comments



A study in Finland (1996) found that men are 30% more likely to die in the first six months after the death of their partner, and 20% more likely to die thereafter. 

Women, on the other hand, are 20% more likely to die in the first six months after the death of their partner, falling to under 10% thereafter.

What this tells us I have no idea. 










  1. Charles

    What it tells us is how easy it is to manipulate the public’s impressions of the truth by sleight of handfuls of stats.

    What does ‘more likely to die’ actually mean? More than what? Than others whose spouses live on, presumably, though we’re not told that in this soundbite. But how did they work out the likelihood of death, whatever that means? And do these stats apply equally regardless of age? I doubt it, but again we’re not told and have to assume it’s some sort of average of the men in the study (how many men? One? Fifty?); so if it’s an average, it tells us nothing about individual life-expectancies. And if the likelihood were originally, say, one in a million, then a 30% rise is negligible, whereas if it were one in three then it becomes a certainty all men will die after the fox gets their chick.

    And yet there is clearly something in it. Grief can have physical effects if you let it, though you don’t need a study to work that out. If you ask me, the best advice is to learn how to be whole in yourself and not dependant on another being for your own welfare, so you not only survive your spouse’s death hurt but undamaged, you have a much better time with her meanwhile!

  2. Charles

    By the way, there’s nothing sexist about the above, I chose the men’s results for convenience; for the rest of the study, replace ‘he’ with ‘she’ and substitue ‘20%’ for ‘30%’.

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