The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently parsed some macabre–but fascinating–data. Using state death data, they determined which causes of death were most “distinctive” on a state-by-state basis. To break this down a bit: All over the country, the leading causes of death (heart attack, accident, suicide, etc.) are the same. This particular data-crunching was looking for something else– causes of death that might not represent huge populations, but were significantly higher, statistically speaking, than in other states.Some of these “distinctive causes of death” are, sadly, predictable. In West Virginia, people die of lung disease caused by dust/pollution–coal mining, anyone? In Alaska, it’s “transportation accidents,” which makes sense. In Tennessee and Alabama, they die of gun accidents. In Nevada, it’s “law enforcement intervention” (yikes!). In Vermont and New Hampshire, malnutrition.
But in Maryland, we’ve just got a big question mark: Unspecified events, undetermined intent. What?! That’s a little too mysterious for my tastes…
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