Posted by: shoji | August 25, 2007

Statistics and interpretation

Data vs. their interpretation. And changes in small numbers (in this case, rates) can be strongly influenced by infrequent events.

clipped from
U.S. women are dying from childbirth at the highest rate in decades, new government figures show. Though the risk of death is very small, experts think that increasing maternal obesity and a jump in Caesarean sections are partly to blame.
The rate was 12 per 100,000 live births in 2003 – the first time the maternal death rate had risen above 10 since 1977.

To be sure, death from childbirth remains fairly rare in the United States.

Some health statisticians note that the total of maternal deaths – still fewer than 600 each year – is small.

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