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Lecture 9

Health Psychology lecture 9.doc

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Nevena Simic

Health Psychology- Lecture #9 June 18, 2012 What are the leading causes of death in Canada today? • Cancer • Heart disease • Stroke • Respiratory disease • Accidents • Diabetes • Alzheimer’s disease Death as a function of age When and how do people die? • Average Canadian life expectancy: 80.3 years - World-wide: 78 years • Beginning of 20 century: 47.3 years - Why the huge increase? • Decrease death from acute illnesses • Decrease infant mortality - 1940: 47 deathsa/1000 live births - 2006: 6.7 deaths/1000 live births Death in infancy or childhood • Infant mortality rate: ratio of deaths to live births - 5.1/1000 births - Relatively high compared with Western Europe - Used to be in 6 place 24 in 2007 • Effects of SES - 4.0/1000 in richest neighbourhood - 6.5/1000 in poorest • Effects of culture - First nations> non-first nations\ Leading causes of death • Birth to 1 year: congenital abnormalities and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) - SIDS: 3 babies die/week in Canada (2005) - Babies simply stop breathing - More likely to occur in lower-class urban environments, when mom smoked during pregnancy, when baby is put to sleep on stomach - Back to Sleep campaign (1999)- reduced by SIDS by approximately 50% • From ages 1-15, the causes shift to accidents (i.e. poisonings, falls) and childhood leukemia - Leukemia: cancer of bone marrow excess white blood cell + severe anemia (80% survival rate today!) Children’s understanding of death • Up to age 5: death as “great sleep” - No understanding of death as final/irreversible - No fear- they are curious • 5-9: death as final may develop - Most children fail to understand the biology of death - Some children believer death is a shadowy figure (devil or ghost) • 9-10: “death is universal and inevitable” - Understand processes that go along with death - Realize that person will not return Death in young adulthood • Leading causes of death for youth (aged 15 to 24): 1. Unintentional injury (usually automobile accidents) 2. Suicide 3. Cancer 4. Homicide - Leading cause of death for young black males • Heart/respiratory diseases and congenital abnormalities • Diagnosis of terminal illness long and drawn out period of dying because fewer biological competitors for death Death in middle age • Death becomes more realistic for two reasons: - More common - Development of chronic health problem that ultimately leads to death • Premature death: death that occurs before age of 79 - Main cause is heart attack or stroke (brain attack) - Death rates on the decline—less smoking! • Midlife crisis - May occur in the 40s or 50s - Stems from the realization of impending death - Set off by death of a parent, friend, or bodily signs that one is aging - Sometimes abrupt life changes are a result of the midlife crisis (seen as trying to postpone death) i.e. feeling younger Death in old age • Death may be easier in old age - “Readiness to die”: elderly have seen friends and relatives die; have come to terms with issues associated with death, such as loss of appearance, and failure to meet goals • Typically die of degenerative diseases (cancer, stroke, heart failure, or physical decline)- leads to susceptibility to infectious diseases and organ failure • Greater chance of achieving death with dignity because of the “preparations of death” • Women live longer than men: 82 vs. 77 years Death as a function of gender Life expectancy by gender Both males and female; life expectancy is increasing Women still have a higher life expectancy Why do women live longer than men? 1. Women are biologically more fit - More male than female fetuses - More males stillborn/miscarried - More male infants die - Male death
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