Sunday, March 08, 2015

How Old Are They?

          Recently, my geography class and I started making our first info-graphic on the life expectancy of three countries. We got to choose one of the American countries, one European, and one from anywhere we want to. I chose the Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, and Thailand. In my info-graphic below, you can see a different reason on each of the country slides showing why their life expectancy is the way it is. The info-graphic represents the data and the different countries, but it doesn't show any clear differences. So, where are the dissimilarities?
'Flag of the Dominican Republic'
LINK

          Let me start off with the Dominican Republic. During my research, I came across an amazing fact about the Dominican Republic, stating that unemployment rates have decreased from 27% to 20% between 1980 and 1990 in this Hispanic country. This means that many people who were living in poverty, didn't/don't anymore, leading to them being able to pay for their basic necessities such as nutritious foods, water, and health care. Comparing this to Czech Republic, where only 8.6% of the population lives in poverty. This could be because Czech Republic is a very developed country, meaning it is also quite wealthy. Additionally, having a smaller percentage of citizens in Czech Republic living in poverty, they live longer lives than citizens in the Dominican Republicans do. In Thailand 13.2% of the population lives in poverty. Although it is less than the Central-American country, it is still more than the European. In Thailand, there are 67.01 million people. 13.2% of that is around 5 million citizens. Now, using these final three percentages, we can easily point out that more citizens in the Dominican Republic live in poverty than Thailand or Czech Republic. That's already one difference. 

Flag of Czech Republic
          Furthermore, the European country I chose for this project was Czech Republic. Finding reasons online why Czech Republic's life expectancy is the way it is, was quite challenging. There were not as many things about improvement in essential statistics or facts that would affect their age for living as there was for Thailand or the Dominican Republic. Though eventually I found out that in Czech Republic, since 1995 to 2005, the amount of deaths on the road relating to alcohol decreased by more than 50% ! Currently, there are only 4.4% of alcohol-related accidents and/or killings. When I found this fact, I looked a bit more into the alcohol laws in Czech Republic, and I found out that they have laws stating that you are not allowed to have alcohol in your blood when you drive. If found that you have alcohol in your body at a checkpoint, police will take you and your car. This is almost the same for Thailand and in the Dominican Republic. The Asian country doesn't allow alcohol for professional or commercial drivers to drink, but they let 0.05% be in any other drivers blood.  Moreover, the Caribbean island only let's by 0.03 percent. It's still not zero, so there is a difference in opinions about drunk-driving. 
'Flag of Thailand'
          Lastly, my free option was an Asian country, Thailand. I found a lot of data and many articles about health there. The most interesting fact that caught my eye was about the top three reasons death occurs in Thailand. Surprisingly, stroke is the number one reason of death in Thailand. Second, coronary heart disease, which is when plaque builds up in your coronary arteries which supply your heart with oxygen and blood. Thirdly, diabetes mellitus. This illness is the most common form of it's type, and it happens when your sugar and starch can't be metabolized causing coma's and convulsions. The reason I said that these reasons were a surprise to me is because I would think people pass away in Thailand because of something such as hunger or lack of cleanliness, due to the high poverty rate. Thailand is a major production country. Meaning that in multiple stores in the west you can find the label 'made in Thailand'. Working in a factory with unsafe and unhealthy conditions should bring down the average life expectancy, I would think. Going to the same database, World Life Expectancy.com, but changing the country to Czech Republic, I'm noticing that coronary heart disease is number one and stroke is second in their top three as well, though their third is lung cancer. In this European country, many people smoke. This activity is only banned in some places such as a hospitals and institutions, though bars, clubs, and restaurants and multiple other public places are open to the cigarettes. Next, in the Dominican Republic the same two diseases are on top, although the third disease this time is Hypertension, a time when a person has abnormally high blood pressure. This is quite interesting as well. As reported in 2004 by PubMed.gov, hypertension and pre-hypertension is spreading rapidly and quite evenly throughout the Asian country, whereas in Czech Republic hypertension isn't that much of a concern, as only 2.3% of deaths occur because of that. Thailand only has hypertension 10th on the list of reasons why people die, and only 2.91% of deaths happen because of this. This shows that the countries have a variety of different concerns regarding health diseases and death.
Woman and Man
          Countries around the world are very different from each other. Meaning, you can easily distinguish the opposites, like I did above for the Dominican Republic, Czech Republic and Thailand. Interestingly, as you just read, these three countries are totally different. Factors such as laws, health, and wealth all play a part in the difference. All in all, Czech Republic has the highest life expectancy out of the three countries I chose for my life expectancy info-graphic. 

Country data:
Dominican Republic Life Expectancy:
Men - 75.6
Women - 80.08
Whole Country - 77.8

Czech Republic Life Expectancy:
Men - 75.34
Women - 81.45
Whole Country- 78.31

Thailand Life Expectancy:
Men - 71
Women - 77.54
Whole Country - 74.18

Down below you can see my info-graphic. Here is the link if you would like to see the actual webpage.

Extra links:
http://data.worldbank.org/country/czech-republic
http://data.worldbank.org/country/thailand
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drunk_driving_law_by_country
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm
http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com

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