This is despite the fact that the government recommends against prescribing them for longterm use since all the research shows that these drugs have zero efficacy (in fact negative efficacy) after the first ten days or so. And yet most doctors hand out longterm prescriptions for these drugs like candy since they either have no idea about this research or simply don't care. In fact they are some of the most widely prescribed drugs in the US.
(Note that it's not entirely clear that they really are killing 300 - 500k Americans each year, as other studies find no excess deaths, but what is clear is that the longterm use of them is terrible for you and that they have zero longterm efficacy in the first place.)
People in France steal prescription pads - zopiclone is in the top ten list for medications that are obtained with stolen pads.
Dublin drug and alcohol clinics are reporting more people having trouble with zopiclone. People suggest that zopiclone is as addictive as diazepam (valium).
"Addiction" is a technical term, and zopiclone doesn't meet that definition, but people should be a bit careful when taking these meds. Especially if they're taking them long term.
Sleep hygiene is important, and even though there's plenty of information about it anecdote suggests people aren't often given that information.
Also, unfortunately, the best (evidence based) treatment for most insomnia -cognitive behaviour therapy (tailored for insomnia)- is hard to find.
So basically, this study is making the claim that prescription sleeping pills are responsible for 12-20% of all deaths in the U.S.
That sounds like a rather extraordinary, and probably exaggerated, claim.
> a recent study estimated that these drugs were killing
> 300,000 - 500,000 Americans each year
> what is clear is that the longterm use of them is terrible
> for you and that they have zero longterm efficacy in the
> first place.)
The actual book (Anatomy of an Epidemic) explains it better, but those are just some quick links. They're also vastly more addictive than heroin. While the worst of heroin withdrawals are over in less than a week, benzo withdrawals can literally last over a year, with people unable to sleep and in severe pain that entire time:
To claim that the Z drugs are "vastly more addictive than heroin" is, frankly, ridiculous.
Rebound insomnia is nasty; and the Z drugs should be treated with respect; and sleep hygiene should be tried first; but it's stupid to scare people with nonsense like "addictive as heroin".
I'd be interested to see the evidence for "terrible for you".
Hypnotics just make you sleep - they don't treat the cause of the insomnia. (For some people they're great at kicking you back into a routine.) There's evidence that long term use can create rebound insomnia.
Here's a guide for general public stating the need for using the meds short term:-
Here's a slightly more technical document with links to the evidence that they used:
Here's a guide aimed at clinicians with many links to good evidence:
It is a collection of statistical methods based on interpretation of available data, usually from public health records.
Anyone who complains that it doesn't prove anything outright has no idea of what it is, how it works or what it tries to achieve.
Alternatively, perhaps their patients have no idea about the research (or simply don't care)? Of course, a doctor does not have to bend to his patients' demands, but perhaps if they are pestered enough...
If you know where to look, there is indeed a small spike from 2000-2005, corresponding with the availability of Vioxx. The rise in 2000 is barely noticeable, but the drop in 2005 is fairly striking. This makes sense: the drug would have been taken up gradually by the market, but its cessation was virtually overnight.
The reason this would be difficult to spot, however, is because death rates did not really increase. Rather, they stayed more or less constant, when they might otherwise have gradually decreased. In hindsight, this looks plausible -- but at the time, saying that death rates would be decreasing were it not for Vioxx would have been an extremely difficult counterfactual argument to make.
Merck knew about Viox' problems from the research they suppressed.
The data matters mainly to retrospectively determine how bad the situation was and looks like it was really bad.
What's interesting here though is that this is not a small signal, precisely because it shows up against the background without any correlation work at all. FTA:
> "We find the largest rise in American mortality rates [in the last 15 years] occurred in 1999, the year Vioxx was introduced, while the largest drop occurred in 2004, the year it was withdrawn," says Unz.
(Source article for that graph: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db88.htm -- would that they distributed the actual datasets behind the graphs!)
EDIT: URL removed. The link I included appear to be written by an idiot. Sorry.
> A CDC review of mortality patterns in 1993 states: “the decline in life expectancy likely reflects increases in death rates for chronic diseases during the two influenza outbreaks in 1993.” [Morbidity Mortality Weekly 45 (08), 161-64, March 1, 1996] Some increases in chronic disease (diabetes, heart disease, COPD) were “the result of the two influenza epidemics of 1993,” said the report. [Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Volume 44, No. 7(S), page 9, Feb. 29, 1996]
Apologies -- I'd misread the OP to say that it had been the largest jump in 15 years -- meaning the 15 years prior to 1999.
That's so morbid. This is the kind of dangerous idea that I'm sure many people have, but are afraid to voice publicly.
Malthusians have been predicting gloom and doom for years, and yet, continuously been proven wrong.
Anyone who believes otherwise has usually just not actually read what Malthus wrote in his books. His main hypothesis has at least been rejected for the time periods concerned, as the food supply has vastly outgrown population growth. Now, that doesn't mean everyone has food, but it does mean that the human population as a whole has an overabundance, quite contrary to what he predicted would happen.
Where are you hiding your storehouse of infinite supply??
You're going to be very rich when the fossil fuels run out, oil for plastics becomes a luxury, when heavy metals relied on for batteries and magnets get more scarce, when water tables fall even lower, as helium runs low, ...
But no of course more and more people demanding all these things and ever increasing power usage can't possible reduce per capita availability?!?
You don't need oil to make plastic - you can literally make it out of air (although it's harder, all the atoms necessary are in air).
All types of energy are more or less interchangeable, If one runs out, switch to a different one.
Animals use resources they find. Humans create those resources.
Before you tell me how much energy the Earth gets compared to how much we use, I'm going to pre-emptively reply "Exponential growth".
Not much more than you are otherwise loosing by using the oil instead of burning it. The hard part is getting carbon - not a lot of CO2 in the air.
> I'm going to pre-emptively reply "Exponential growth".
But we are not having exponential population growth right now. And even if we were, the universe is big REALLY big, stupendously unimaginably big. Even just the Earth is enormous, and we are nowhere close to filling it up.
And to bring things back to this earth, this isn't going to be a problem for such a long time that predicting anything whatsoever about it is futile.
This seems to discount tidal, wind, and geothermal energy sources. Wearable devices that capture kinetic movements are a possibility too. As technology progresses, efficiency increases.
While what you're saying seems theoretically possible, it also seems a long way off (perhaps several millennia).
Malthus was completely right and all the historical data we've been able to gather has validated his views, going back tens of thousands of years. The exception is post agricultural revolution, meaning the last 150 years, which might as well be a rounding error. It won't last.
Malthus was right: population is limited by food supply and any increase in food supply results ultimately in a higher population with a roughly constant standard of living.
That's the funniest thing I've read in a long time.
You're asserting that we have roughly the same standard of living as people 200 years ago? 1000 years ago? 10,000 years ago?
Even putting aside what must be something like 30 or 40 years worth of life expectancy at birth, and probably a decade or so of life expectancy as a 20-something, the median inhabitant of Earth a thousand years ago was engaged in backbreaking labor from sunrise to sunset, ate an unvaried, subsistence diet and was almost completely illiterate.
The current median inhabitant might be working in a Foxconn factory, but he or she has massive health and lifestyle advantages over his or her 1000 AD counterpart.
The mean life expectancy at birth might well have been 35 years but that's dragged down by massive infant and child mortality in the first 5 years of life - if you made it to adulthood, you had a reasonable chance of making it to 60.
I'm not sure claims about a topic such as happiness can ever be "indisputably" true.
Would you not even entertain the possibility that your "median inhabitant 1000 years ago" was actually quite happy with her unvaried subsistence diet, since it was a little bit more varied than her that of her poorer neighbour, and not much less varied than her much richer cousin's?
I doubt he would feel unhappy or unfulfilled for being illiterate - in his sphere of existence, what would he have read? To whom would he have written? Do you feel constantly unfulfilled though being unable to communicate with dolphins, or through being unable to interpret Tibetan Prayer Flags, or (perhaps more topically) through not regularly listening to oral poetry passed down from bard to bard? I suspect not - because you have no expectation of being able to do these things.
Currently, the (exponential) economic growth is tied to an ever growing consumption of resources, some of which are not renewable.
Malthus will ultimately be proven right unless we abandon growth or manage to dissociate it from resource consumption.
The first solution won't happen (prisoner's dilemma), and the second one is far on the horizon.
Edit: I knew that this post would not be popular, but I would like to hear a rebuttal to my argument, rather than getting downvotes (two at the time of writing).
The second one is happening full speed and has happened throughout the history of humanity. If you'd looked at wood usage 200 years ago, we looked doomed. If you'd looked at whale oil around the turn of the last century, it was all over.
We're shaking off oil now. It's taking a while, but every time the price of oil goes up, the profit for replacing it gets higher. 100 years from now, our 20 billion descendants will have more than enough of this curious mineral oil stuff for whatever archaic activities such might be used for then.
Your argument optimistically assumes that we'll be able to cope with the environmental changes that our activity is causing. Supply is only one part of the equation. For example, our CO_2 emissions, whether or not they cause global warming (that's mostly controversial in the US AFAIK), are causing ocean acidification, which could have a massive impact on marine life.
In dynamic systems as complex as the earth, tipping points are impossible to predict. That being said, we've never been pushing as hard for one.
Regarding growth, I have a hard time understanding how an exponential growth of our activity can be sustainable, especially in terms of energy requirements, which should be proportional (AFAIK). I believe that the current system is tautological. We need growth to sustain growth, but it hardly benefits people anymore. Wealth and happiness are related up to a point we reached in western countries in the 1960's IIRC. And after the last downturn, the economy restarted, but it didn't bring the jobs back.
I hope that there are alternative economic models. That's why I was talking about the prisoner's dilemma. I think that we're stuck on a bandwagon in a headlong rush.
I know that I'm very pessimistic about this, but I'm genuinely concerned. I can only hope I'm wrong.
I think you're confusing absolute well-being with emotional satisfaction. The latter is often relative: Humans judge themselves in comparison to others, and are often happiest when they perceive themselves to be at the top of the pile. No amount of wealth is likely to change that. As our more "basic" needs of food, health and shelter are increasingly easy to acquire, yes, we'll focus more on that kind of emotional satisfaction.
But again, it's a relative phenomenon. If you think you'd be just as happy after being transported to the 1960's as you are today, I think you're fooling yourself. You'd miss all sort of features of the present day that our massively greater wealth has facilitated (and you'd miss a few years of life expectancy, too). Your absolute well-being is almost certainly much higher, and while that might not lead to emotional satisfaction, it's certainly worth pursuing. Better to be Socrates dissatisfied...
> Better to be Socrates dissatisfied...
That quote refers to intellectual curiosity, not material wealth.
I can sort of see this working if fusion can be made to work in the next few years. But for the sake of the rest of the eco-system I hope man doesnt get anywhere near to that population.
Only 0.000000724654% of it reaches the Earth.
That’s 7.24654 billionths of the Sun’s total light.
the earth receives about 274 million gigawatt-years of solar energy
Put another way, the solar energy hitting the earth exceeds the total energy consumed by humanity by a factor of over 20,000 times.
And thats only only 0.000000724654% of the suns output. Now once we start harvesting our relatively unlimited power source food will no longer be a problem. Build 100 story greenhouse's etc.
I am hardly concerned about our future growth, considering we now have plans to start mining bodys in space. Perfect launch spot for providing our future energy needs. In fact I wouldn't be supprised if the energy is the main factor in planetary resources future plan to add trillions of dollars to the gdp.
We need new resources in the next couple of decades (at the outside IMO, ie eariler would be better). Do you realistically see us harvesting a varied collection of minerals from space in that sort of time-scale.
Algae based bio fuels sounds promising.
> replace plastics
If we stop using oil for fuel, there's plenty left for plastics. Oh, and carbon fibre is promising.
> What are you going to feed your 20 billion?
Food. There's plenty of unused room for it, and even then, there's hydroponics. Solve desalination, or hook up a cheap abundant energy source to what we already have, and there's even more room.
tl;dr: Malthus was right.
Have you actually read Malthus' works?
Oh joy, he has a new TED talk posted in March that I haven't seen yet. Thanks!
"No... no he wasn't..." adds no value to the discussion.
The main problems are the assumption that food production grows linearly and that population grows geometrically. For food production, scientific advances have kept food production growing far faster than linear. With future advances in technology, I could believe a 10x increase in food production in my lifetime. No one is predicting a population of 70 billion any time soon.
Also, the population isn’t growing geometrically. For the trivial answer, the growth has been more exponential. However, there have again been scientific advancements that Malthus simply couldn’t have forseen. Effective birth control keeps the population count lower. The switch from agrarian to urban culture has eliminated most of the advantages of producing large families and heavily rewarded producing smaller ones. In terms of hard facts, the world population growth rate has been declining since 1963. The UN’s medium projection of population growth predicts a population downturn by 2050.
At the basest level, he was right that the population can’t grow indefinitely. However, most claims that are more specific than that haven’t panned out.
I remember reading it as a child as an example of satire.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1080/1080-h/1080-h.htm For the original article.
Edit: Added a link to the original article by Jonathon Swift.
Really? Do tell, who might those people be?
I wonder why that joke was included in the piece in the first place, it throws the feel of the entire thing.
Every religion has exceptions to the rule.
This is a rational accommodation. Religions that don't make those exceptions run out of followers real quick.
Typically = the set of people that don't belong to that religion!
Christianity - This one is somewhat interesting, because we might be discussing the Ten Commandments or we might be discussing the philosophies of Jesus. Let's stick with Jesus. He made it pretty clear that killing (possibly even in self-defense?) was verboten. Turn the other cheek, and all that.
Islam - I found this interesting, because I didn't know it until I looked it up. Apparently the verses in the Quran that 'condone' murder against pagans and such are actually referring to a very specific period of Muslim history where peace treaties had been violated by neighboring pagan tribes. The Quran apparently directs Muslims to maintain peaceful relations with neighbors (regardless of religion) but not to fall victim to 'oppression', which is worse than death, because we should be like (the Muslim interpretation of) God, who is 'Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful...'.
Buddhism - This one is pretty obvious. Buddhism condemns the killing of all living beings.
Judaism - Let's now go with the Ten Commandments version. So some interpretations say that the commandment is 'Thou Shalt Not Kill', while others say it is 'Thou Shalt Not Murder', and the distinction between those two is apparently 'self-defense'.
So, no, try again. 'Typically', it appears, the source material of the major religions does not condone killing 'nonbelievers', as much as you would apparently like it to. Many seem to actually try promoting peaceful relations and forgiveness of transgressions, even when that might be costly to the members of that religion.
Now what the religion says and what we get are often different, but that's not really surprising, now is it?
If God wants to stop gay marriage or contraception or abortion then that's fine - all he has to do is appear in the clouds and say so.
And the golf course would be a beautiful place if it wasn't for the damned golfers.
You can't abstract God away from the church, the religion, man. Any one is meaningless without the other.
You're just going to have to put up with the religious and our noisy, imperfect, interpretations of the Truth.
If nothing else, a huge amount more people needed to know about the malamine scandal. How are we shipping so much milk with so few cows? Why am I dumping this unmarked 50lb bag of powder into the milk?
: After looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vioxx, I don't see any allegation that Merck actually withheld raw data from the FDA, or provided it with false raw data. That's the great thing about a vague analogy like "sweeping under the rug": you can imply that something happened that didn't, without actually lying.
name one person in this day and age that does not brush their theets with a fluoride tooth paste.
I don't have a good source* on me but aspartame likely increases appetite and feeling of hunger so I don't know about promoting but it may be contributing.
* see this for example though http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2359769
I'm deeply concerned about the world my children will inherit, but it's difficult for educated mainstream individuals to take the issues you point out seriously if they are presented from a paranoid and conspiracy theory embracing perspective. Even taking a giant leap and supposing any of the conspiracies exist to the extent some claim, the presentation still suffers because of a lack of willingness by the populace to embrace such a dark view of a society that they participate in.
That, and the public has a much more visceral reaction to food and beverages that kill people than medications that kill people.
These kinds of scandals are not consequences of the free-market. This is crony-capitalism. It could just as easily happen under crony-socialism. And as the MTBE scandal demonstrated, progressive politicians are perfectly capable of foisting this kind of stuff on the public.
Proving causation would be a high bar, of course, if not impossible. But I'm curious to know what further investigation could be done with this.
If anything, this should be seen as a reason to not allow the pervasive advertising of prescription drugs and aggressive peddling of drug swag - Vioxx was peddled in the most ostentatious way -- my doctor STILL has Vioxx clipboards and other junk in his office. I'm sure that this constant brand awareness and patient nagging helped drive sales (ie. encourage potentially unnecessary or inappropriate scripts).
The other thing to consider is quality of life. I began suffering by a sudden onset of what was eventually diagnosed as a degenerated disc in my back -- at age 25. I went through some intensive physical therapy to try to avoid surgery (ultimately an unsuccessful effort), and Vioxx was the only thing that allowed me to function without narcotic pain relief (which I refused to take for more than a week at a time). It was that good at reducing chronic inflammation.
If I were a 75 year old man with severe, debilitating arthritis having difficulty walking or living a decent life, I'd happily volunteer to take a drug like Vioxx to improve the quality of my remaining time here, even knowing that I was at a higher risk of a heart attack.
I'm not a pharmacist, but the story regarding this drug is more nuanced. Doctors prescribed the two drugs differently, as folks with other drug sensitivities were not good celebrex candidates, and the risk factors associated with vioxx were not known. Vioxx was the more heavily marketed, "safe" choice.
Should Merck have disclosed the increased risk of heart attack and stroke? Absolutely.
But, part of the problem is the incentives fostered by a bureaucracy like the FDA. If you know that your new wonderfully effective pain medication increases the risk of heart attacks from 4% to 6% (or whatever the numbers were), are you going to disclose that to the FDA, knowing it essentially spells doom for the billion dollars plus you spent on development?
I can't for the life of me figure out why we can't just do that. Anyone around care to enlighten me?
Example I listed: That with full disclosure I can make an educated choice as to what goes into my body.
Example you listed: That over 50% of people that get prescribed something decide to take that something the wrong way as opposed to as directed.
They don't seem to be the same. (for one, using a drug in a matter different then what you've been told to is just gross negligence.)
My argument is this: If you can't count on people to take a drug that will drastically reduce their likelihood of dying, how can you trust them to accurately determine the trade-off between efficacy and safety?
Most patients don't display the ability to figure out risks and trade-offs now (and relatively simple trade-offs at that). Do you think they'll be able to figure out what "45% increase in the risk of heart-attacks (41.2 - 48.8%, 95% confidence interval) in populations who have had a transient ischemic attack in the last 180 days, excluding those who have diagnosed atherosclerosis" means to them?
Consider the infamous 'mammogram statistics problem' as an example. So what do you do then, when nobody in the decision-making chain can be trusted to understand the data?
Especially if the alternative is denying other people loads of relief (not only in the form of proven effective drugs that are taken off market, like Vioxx, but all the drugs that aren't even investigated because they fit in a class of drugs with known negative side effects).
Edit: misread your post. Yes, I do trust people to make decisions on efficacy v. risk. This would be even easier if we had a system that promoted the discussion of this information rather than one that effectively prohibited it. Merck should be able to openly say, "Hey guys, we have this great drug that is really effective at managing pain, plus it's non-narcotic. The only downside is, it increases your risk of heart attack by 50%. Talk to your doctor about it."
That's why I stated earlier that your doctor is and should explain to you what those words and statistics mean in laymen. Your example is full of the exact opposite of what I was saying.
People are more than sufficiently educated about the risks of drunk driving, but it's still a problem, because bad outcomes only happen to other people.
Did Merck not disclose something? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vioxx seems to indicate they did disclose the increased risk over naproxen, but tried to explain it away without further investigation.
The problem with this drug is that 16-20 tablets can be a fatal dose - which isn't that many taken 2 at a time.
Both accidental, because the fatal dose is relatively low compared to the therapeutic dose and because deliberate overdoses are far more likely to be fatal than say sleeping tablets.
- Do they actually work to relieve pain?
- Are people able to function normally on them, or are they stuck in bed all day while unable to walk, with severe brain fog, profusely sweating, and nauseous.
- Is it easy to accidentally OD even if you're taking the prescribed dose? (Which is the case with fentanyl patches... accidentally role over in bed or step into a hot shower without remembering to take it off first and there's a good chance you're dead.)
Narcotics also aren't an anti-inflammatory so they're not actually fixing the problem at all, they're just covering up the pain, and often not even very well. That's why medical marijuana is so much better for back problems, because it's a strong anti-inflammatory, and also because the analgesic dose is much lower than the psychoactive dose so you can get relief from your pain without being left unable to function. Especially since you can now get high-CBD marijuana, which is basically non-psychoactive to begin with, but with even stronger anti-inflammatory properties than regular marijuana.
That is interesting about marijuana being anti-inflammatory...I did not know that.
Vioxx was found to have serious CV risks associated with it at ALL recommended doses. Celebrex was found to have CV risks associated with only the highest dose.
The FDA made the call that Vioxx should be gone and that Celebrex can stay (with an updated label that describes the risks). Same with Naproxen.
It frustrates me that people in big companies have no deterrent from acting unlawfully. The same thing happened in Wall Street companies in the GFC.
Edit: duh, not per year. Oh well, there may still be some little nugget of validity in there somewhere.
The article mentions that people did notice when it was dropped down, but doesn't mention anything about when deaths/year went up.
"Vioxx was almost entirely marketed to the elderly, and these substantial changes in the national death-rate were completely concentrated within the 65-plus population."
"The FDA studies had proven that use of Vioxx led to deaths from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, and these were exactly the factors driving the changes in national mortality rates."
The fact that NO AMOUNT OF MONEY could save you from prosecution in China maybe?
In fact, the American Conservative can point to several dead Chinese 'Boardroom types' to make a quite convincing argument that no amount of money could even save them from execution in China.
Anti-corruption campaigns are very common in China. They'll go through and execute a few hundred people at a time. But they don't make a dent in actual corruption, because the only people to get executed are the ones without connections.
Money over positively everything.
It was not similar. In my opinion, it's so different that it's not even worth comparing.
An analogy is not an argument. It only illustrates your argument, if you have one.
I bet the only people who really cared are those that you would have written off as "conspiracy theorists" before you came to realize the grisly truth.
- The safety standards for getting new drugs approved are incredibly lax. All you need to show is that it helps the person in some measurable way for the first six weeks. You don't need to show that the drug is safe or effective for longterm use, even if the drug is designed for longterm use. And you don't need to show that the person's overall health and wellbeing is improved, just the one condition the drug is designed to treat. So if an acne drug causes liver failure it will still get approved as long as it's effective at treating acne.
- The government has been caught many times injecting political dissidents and others with fake vaccines, most recently in the case of the Bin Laden family.
- Most academics believe that the US government was responsible for starting the AIDS epidemic by running vaccination programs in Africa.  
- The government has repeatedly shown that they don't take evidence of safety and quality problems seriously at best, and actively prosecute whistleblowers at worst.
"The goals of the New Drug Application are to provide enough information to permit FDA reviewer to reach the following key decisions: * Whether the drug is safe and effective in its proposed use(s), and whether the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks."
Also http://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm143534... : "It's the clinical trials that take so long -- usually several years". I'm afraid I can't find any actual figures for the typical length of the clinical trials at present.
"Most academics believe..."
For one thing, you've cited only one academic (as "the River" is by a journalist, not a scientist), and he attributed it to "well-meaning European doctors and nurses"... so, er, not the US, and not the government.
But, more importantly, there's plenty more academics who think that theory is completely wrong:
The other, I Googled the title -- the fourth result (after some pages on nature.com) had a PDF of that one:
Also, while clinical trials usually do take 10 years or so, the actual patients don't necessarily receive the drug for more than a few weeks. The reason it takes so long is because you need to do preclinical research, secure patents, secure funding, get IRB and FDA approval for each study, design the methodology and acquire the resources you need, recruit hundreds or thousands of volunteers, wait for the drugs to get manufactured, run all the studies in each phase, analyze the data, get FDA approval to transition from phase I to phase II and from phase II to phase III, then wait for actual approval, etc.
Regardless, I maintain it's very far from the case that "most academics believe...". That's all.
Thanks for keeping this civil. Disagreement on HN remains a refreshing experience. :)
The connection between cholesterol and fat intake is tenuous at best. You're likely to be able to cut your total cholesterol levels by less than 15 points through a low fat diet plus exercise unless it was ridiculous to start with. In my family a healthy diet results in a total cholesterol level of around 250, while a strict low fat diet will bring it down to 235 or so, far above the recommended level.
As far as blood pressure is concerned, nearly everyone develops hypertension eventually.
Oh wait, herd immunity? Right, so I'm supposed to inject my kids with chemicals for the greater good of other people? How about those people first breastfeed their own kids to protect mine from getting flu (we all know breastfed babies are healthier) and stop killing 50,000 people from second-hand smoke every year? People are scared of terrorism yet they kill themselves with the nasty $1 burgers government makes available thanks to subsidies.
People are so scared to lose their kids to Polio and measles but they're more likely to lose them to a drunk 16 year old or a driver busy facebooking. Or their own aunt chain smoking around their kids. Or give them cancer and diabetes by recklessly feeding them food dyes and artificial sweeteners. Fucking retards. Cigarettes, Coke and 80% of the crap you find in your local grocery store kill more people than whooping cough ever will, and they do so legally and with great pride.