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PSY333H1 Lecture Notes - Midlife Crisis, Chronic Condition, Degenerative Disease

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Nevena Simic

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Lecture for Chapter 12 Terminal Illness
In Canada Leading cause of death was due to cancers
o 2nd heart diseases & stroke (cardiovascular issues)
o running at op 5- chronic respiratory problems and accidents
Death as a function of age
Causes of death vary over life cycle/stage
When and how do people die?
Average Canadian life expectancy is 80.3 years
o Compared w/ worldwide which is 78 years
Beginning of 20th century was 47.3 years why the huge increases in life expectancy?
o Decrease infant mortality
1940s 47 deaths/ 1000 live births
2006 6.7 deaths/ 1000 live births
o Decrease death from acute illness
Death in infancy or childhood
Infant mortality rate: ratio of deaths to live births ( 5.1/ 1000 births in Canadian)
Relatively high compared w/ Western Eurpoe
o Used to be in 6th places but 24th in 2007
Effects of SES
o 4.0 / 1000 (ratios) in richest neighbourhood
o 6.5/ 1000 in poorest ( 2 and half infant extra from richest SES)
Effects of culture
o First Nations > non-First Nations
o event w/in first nations there is stratification of SES status
Leading causes of Death
Birth to 1 year: congenital abnormalities & sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
SIDS: 3 babies die/ week in Canada due to this
o babies simply stop breathing
o more likely to occur in :
lower class urban environments
when mom smoked during pregnancy
when baby is put to sleep on stomach which is very easily modifiable
Back to sleep campaign ( 1999 ) put your babies to sleep on your back than
stomach reduced SIDS by ~50%

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From Ages 1-15 the causes shifts to accidents (i.e. poisoning, falls again these are things
modifiable importance of supervision , new mother education ) and childhood leukemia
o Leukemia: cancer of bone marrow excess white blood cell + severe anemia ( good
news - 80 % of survival rate today for diagnosis that majority of children don’t die
from it )
o however there are some lingering side effects from treatment particularly from
cognitive developmental problems ironically - if its early detection and early
radiation treatment because of development of brain neurons are happening
at young age such as myelination
radiation problem show cognitive problem later in life, basis skills of reading
are difficult acquired
Children’s understanding of Death
Up to age of 5 death as “great sleep”
o no understanding of death as final/ irreversible because of it has no fear they
are curious
Ages 5- 9 Death as final may develop
o Still most children fail to understand the biology of death
o some children believe death is a shadowy figure ( devil or ghost)
Ages 9-10 death is universal & inevitable
o understand processes that go along w/ death
o realize that person will not return
Death in Young Adulthood
leading causes of death for youth ( 15 24) :
o 1. Unintentional injury (usually automobile accidents )
o 2. Suicide depression & need to understand health issue in young adult
o 3. cancer
o 4. Homicide ( intentional injury)
leading causes of death for young black males
o heart/ respiratory diseases & congenital abnormalities
Next to death of child death of young adult seen as most trageic:
o Wasted of life, robbed of chance to develop and mature
Diagnosis of terminal illness at this age
o long and drawn out period of dying ( and sometimes painful) because of fewer
biological competitors e.g. there are no other cardiac or respiratory conditions that
exhaust their body except for this terminal disease
Death in Middle Age
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