One People

Achdus is Hebrish for “unity”.

Urban Myths–How they get started

This hasn’t much to do with the theme of our blog, but the following caught my eye.  The blogger’s experience (she’s  orthodox) with a drug rep is interesting. 

I’m clipping from the end of her post:

“I can’t even suggest a drug to a patient,” I reply kindly. “Malpractice. I can suggest an evaluation, but not a drug.”

Saying that, Dr. Z and I relax and compare bike rides to work.

Then I heard the following from E., a drug rep at the other end of the table. It blew my mind.

The average kid in Kentucky begins smoking tobacco at 7 years old.

I asked her to repeat that 3 times. I couldn’t believe it. I thought maybe I heard it wrong. I didn’t want to believe it.

When I got home I looked it up. See, it helps to look things up, to think critically. A story from Wires,Tuesday, July 19, 2005

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky ranks among the unhealthiest states – a plight that’s largely self-inflicted due to smoking, eating fatty foods and not exercising enough, The Courier-Journal reported in a special section published Sunday.

Chronic poor health threatens lives and hits all Kentuckians in the pocketbook through taxes and insurance premiums, according to the Louisville newspaper’s special report.

On almost every health measure, Kentuckians fare poorly – second worst nationally for cancer deaths, fifth worst for cardiovascular deaths and seventh worst for obesity, according to the paper, which published a special eight-page section on the state’s poor health.

Kentuckians die at a rate of 18 percent above the national average, the newspaper reported. Its report said residents of all income levels are disabled and killed by cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes _ chronic illnesses that are linked to smoking, poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyles.

“We don’t have to worry about foreign aggressors,” said Dr. Baretta Casey, a Hazard physician and University of Kentucky professor. “We are killing ourselves off.”

Poverty is at the center of the problem. . .

Where is the word 7-year old? Nowhere.

Next story, a story on 5-7 year olds with ADHD who also have sleep disordered breathing (SDB) in Pediatrics concludes with the following:

We present additional confirmatory evidence that symptoms of SDB are frequent in 5- to 7-year-old children and that the risk increases when parents snore or smoke cigarettes. In children with significant symptoms of ADHD, REM sleep disturbances are more frequent and may contribute mildly yet significantly to neurobehavioral function

I suggest that these two stories, the one about Kentucky’s populace having the worst health in the nation and the one from the pediatric journal on parental smoking and SDB blended to create this marvelous new urban myth.

But you heard it here first, folks. It really is an urban myth. (If I’m wrong, please show me the research.) Kids in Kentucky don’t light up. They probably do, however, breathe in more secondary smoke than the rest of us.

Now that makes sense.

Thanks for dinner, Boehringer Ingelheim. And sure, I’ll be happy to do it again.

I just thought it interesting how professionals can do that, put 2 and 2 together to get 3.

Shabbat Shalom,


June 15, 2007 Posted by | urban myths | Leave a comment