Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Microlife and Micromort

Dr. J.E. was persuading me to get involved in his public health initiative in Northern Kentucky.  He knew the right "hook" when he mentioned Microlife - a way to measure public health impacts (risks and rewards).

A Microlife is 30 minutes off your life expectancy and is used to measure the chronic risk of unhealthy life styles - like smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity.  Governments use microlives (and micromorts - which is a one in a million chance of death) in determining policy decisions on treatments to prolong life or where to invest for public safety. 
The United Kingdom National Institute of Clinical Institute puts the value of a microlife at $2.72 (1.70 British Pounds).

This video helps explain how microlives impact our longevity:

So here are the examples in the video (and the web site details)

2 cigarettes = 1 microlife
5kg overweight (11 lbs) = 1 microlife (for each day overweight)
3 UK pints (60 fl oz) of strong beer = 1 microlife

So do the math - a pack a day of cigarettes (20); a six pack of beer (72 oz) on the weekends; and 20 lbs overweight  will cost you 4,346 microlives each year  or 13 weeks off of your life. 

But as G.B. said during my Vistage presentation on longevity - "When I really want that juicy high cholesterol steak dinner with a bottle of wine, knowing that I may be costing myself longevity time -  at least it's coming off the back end" 

PS - Now I can also do the overweight math -  each pound overweight costs $0.25 per day ( 1 divided by 11 times $2.72) or $91.25 for the year.        I think Anthem was overcharging me   :)      see Blog Jan. 6, 2010  Pound of Flesh = $?

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