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Statistics in Healthcare: Sun Rays Exposure

Introduction

Statistics that keep track of mortality, fertility, and many other life indicators in a region or country include many more hands than it might seem at first glance. A considerable number of different relationships, including mainly the causes of death and the proportional mortality rate, show the ratio of deaths from a specific reason to the total number of deaths for a selected period (Merrill, 2015). This indicator helps, for example, to show that with an equal number of cancer deaths but with different populations, the interpretation of the results will be different.

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Epidemiology and Statistical Dependencies

However, epidemiological studies involving statistical calculations have gone even further. Of most significant interest are cohort data showing incidence rates over the same period (Merrill, 2015). Researchers’ actions are most often aimed at identifying bias and distinguishing between disease modification or effect and data bias. In addition, research in epidemiology allows one to find such unexpected relationships as the risk of disease from geographical latitude (Gorham et al., 2007). This is an indirect relationship since the chances of diseases such as leukemia and heart disease are caused by many factors, such as smoking, lack or excess of vitamin D, unhealthy diet, diet, and even social status. Such statistics allowed us to draw unusual conclusions regarding vitamin D. Researchers argue that the risk of heart disease has a direct relationship with the risk of cancer. Still, vitamin D is not a fundamental factor in developing the above conditions since artificial administration of vitamin D to the desired level does not change high morbidity rates in the city (Weller, 2012). The direct dependence on geographical indicators is quite interesting, although to some extent indirect. Still, it is necessary to consider such a statistical theorem because of several confirmations indicated above.

Sun’s Rays Exposure

The sun affects the skin, which researchers recently found contains forms of nitric oxide released when exposed to sunlight. Since, in this work, vitamin D had to be excluded from the calculations of the risks of diseases, ultraviolet type A was used (Weller, 2012). While exposure to sunlight is beneficial on the one hand, it can cause skin cancer on the other. At the same time, it has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, which is much more common than skin cancer. Finding statistical relationships and identifying valuable aspects of the sun’s influence on humans is now the main task of dermatologists and cardiologists (Cuomo et al., 2015). Nevertheless, the role of vitamin D is still relatively high in the fight against leukemia. This is proven by studies using statistics from 172 countries (Cuomo et al., 2015). The production of vitamin D from sunlight also helps prevent other cancers, diabetes, and sclerosis (Baggerly et al., 2015). Therefore, one should not take radical or extreme positions in the dispute about the effects of sunlight. This effect has both disadvantages, which can increase the risk of severe illness, and advantages that should not be neglected for vitamin D production, which is preventing other serious diseases, such as colon cancer (Garland & Garland, 1980). An integrated approach is best suited, including monitoring health indicators and a specific stay under the influence of sunlight, but under the strict supervision of a doctor, since possible predispositions to certain diseases cannot be ruled out.

Information Interpretation

Any statistical data requires interpretation; otherwise, they are of meager value. Expert assessment of information is always essential in every case, especially when it comes to health or simple quantitative or relative evaluations, which in themselves do not say anything. Interpretation can be of two types: scout mindset and soldier mindset. The latter perspective is most commonly used by people in everyday life and tends to employ defensiveness, skepticism towards new ideas, and lack of curiosity. Many people tend to defend their ideas and their knowledge, like a soldier defending their homeland. However, to open oneself to accepting other points of view, it is in cooperation with many possible points of view that truth is born (Galef, 2016). Considering the availability of several dozen sources of Public Health Data in the USA, the most correct and constructive solutions can be born only in the case of openness of each source and are the results of their cooperation.

Even controversial issues regarding exposure to sunlight or vitamin D production and the relationship between these facts and the risk of serious illness require a more scouting approach. Mistrust of each other, and even mistrust of doctors, which is found among people, do not contribute to these complex issues, which also require cooperation. People should strive to maintain their health, to a healthy lifestyle on a sensual level so that some progress in fundamental issues finally appears.

Conclusion

Statistics always require subsequent interpretation or preliminary theorems that they prove. It was most vividly revealed in the literature presented on the example of exposure to sunlight and the vitamin D debate. Such examples demonstrate the multi-criteria nature of fundamental medical issues that cannot be solved radically and quickly. Any right decision requires an open mind to other points of view and a sincere curiosity that people are often deprived of in everyday life.

References

Baggerly, C. A., Cuomo, R. E., French, C. B., Garland, C. F., Gorham, E. D., Grant, W. B. & Wunsch, A. (2015). Sunlight and vitamin D: necessary for public health. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 34(4), 359-365.

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Cuomo, R. E., Garland, C. F., Gorham, E. D., & Mohr, S. B. (2015). Low cloud cover-adjusted ultraviolet B irradiance is associated with high incidence rates of leukemia: study of 172 countries. Public Library of Science One, 10(12), e0144308.

Galef, J. (2016). When you think you’re right – even if you’re wrong. [Video]. TedTalks. Web.

Garland, C. F., & Garland, F. C. (1980). Do sunlight and vitamin D reduce the likelihood of colon cancer?. International Journal of Epidemiology, 9(3), 227-231.

Gorham, E. D., Mohr, S. B., Garland, C. F., Chaplin, G., & Garland, F. C. (2007). Do sunscreens increase risk of melanoma in populations residing at higher latitudes?. Annals of Epidemiology, 17(12), 956-963.

Merrill, R. M. (2015). Introduction to epidemiology. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Weller R. (2012). Could be sun the good for your heart? [Video]. TedTalks. Web.

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