Cancer and heart disease are diseases of longevity.

I don't have data at hand, but I think that's true only partially. Yes, the prevalence of cancer and CVD is a function of the age of the population, but as far as I remember, even after you control for age, they still show up as diseases of civilization with the "primitive" societies having considerably lesser age-adjusted rates.

At least one causal pathway for that is visible: diabetes and the metabolic syndrome in general are clearly diseases of civilization and they are strong risk factors for CVD (I don't know about cancer).

Interesting - I've modeled all cancer in my mind as vaguely similar to testicular cancer - one is likely to get it, but unlikely to die of it unless you survive many other potential causes of death.

In other words, I'm not sure if the data we care about is prevalence-of-cancer or prevalence-of-cancer-deaths.

On reflection, I think the assertion under question is essentially "Paleo diet creates more QUALYs." Which should be answered in part by how much prevalence of cancer effects quality of life even if the cancer was not a causal factor in death.

Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014

by Gondolinian 1 min read15th Dec 2014309 comments


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