They say that there are only two things guaranteed in life: death and taxes. And you can at least commit tax fraud for a while if you try. But that death thing has so far managed to catch up with literally everyone. If it were only as simple as one day being alive and another day being dead maybe it’d be less stressful and less anxiety inducing, but no such luck. When you start to look into it, there are so many ways to die, so many contributing factors and so many unexpected and unpleasant statistics about mortality that it might make you want to just hide indoors for the rest of your life.
10. Brazilian Butt Lifts Are the Deadliest Cosmetic Surgery Procedure
We accept that some things in life are deadlier than others. Trying to pet a tiger is going to be more dangerous than trying to pet a house cat. You’re at greater risk from open heart surgery than you are from having a bunion removed. But there are some truly staggering statistics when it comes to one unlikely procedure that you may not be aware of. A Brazilian butt life is the deadliest plastic surgery procedure going.
The procedure, meant to make your butt look rounder, perkier and fuller by injecting fat from places in your body where it isn’t wanted into your butt, has the highest mortality rate of any cosmetic procedure that is around one in 3,000.
The procedure can cost as much as $15,000 to get done. In 2020 alone, over 40,000 butt procedures were done despite the risks. In the UK, surgeons have been advised to not perform the procedure at all, though it’s not banned.
In a survey, three percent of doctors responded that they’d had a patient die from the procedure. Most deaths can be attributed to pulmonary fat emboli which is when fat ends up in your pulmonary system. Some occur and are not fatal, but others are not so lucky.
9. Munchausen by Proxy Mortality Rates are About 9% to 10%
Factitious disorder imposed on another is the current name for the condition better known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy. It’s a mental disorder in which a caregiver makes as though the person they are caring for is sick with something they do not actually have. The condition often seems to be a way for the caregiver to get attention and sympathy, perhaps to be seen as brave or strong for trying to help someone else overcome their illness, when in fact they are the cause of that illness. This may be as simple as gaslighting the alleged patient, especially if they are a child, by convincing them they are sick, but often may also go as far as the caregiver harming the victim in some way by medicating or even poisoning them to make them fit the symptoms.
Because the entire syndrome is based around a fake illness, it seems like the victim may not be in all that much danger, but the opposite is true. The would-be caregivers often go to great lengths to make the victim fit their false narrative to the extent that the mortality rate for the condition is around 9%.
8. Catch and Release Fishing Mortality is About 18% But Up to 40%
It’s not just human mortality rates that can be depressing. Our unfortunate fish friends in rivers, lakes and streams around the country that we thought were benefiting from catch and release practices are not doing nearly as well as you’d think.
The idea behind catch and release fishing seems noble enough. You catch a fish, take it off the hook and let it go again so you get the enjoyment of fishing and the fish gets to live another day. Unfortunately, the mortality rate for the fish is between 18% and 40% according to various studies.
A number of factors contribute to what may cause the fish to die even after it’s released, with the location of the hook when the fish is caught being the greatest contributing factor, but it’s safe to say that they’re not all going to swim off and tell the story to a friend.
7. Pro Wrestler Mortality is Far Higher Than The Wider Population
If you’re a lifelong fan of professional wrestling, then you no doubt have had to watch a number of your favorites from the past die young. It’s no secret in the industry that wrestlers die young. Many succumb to addiction or health issues related to past drug use. But there are also a number of accidents or other violent deaths that occur as well. In the end, it’s very rare for a pro wrestler to live to a ripe, old age.
For wrestlers between 45 and 54, their mortality rate is nearly three times greater than that of the wider population. When it comes to deaths related to cardiovascular conditions, wrestler deaths occur at a rate 15.1 times greater than the population at large. Cancer deaths among wrestlers are 6.4 times higher. And drug overdose deaths are astronomically higher at 122.7 times more than the wider population.
As has been noted, some of this can perhaps be attributed to the lifestyle of pro wrestlers, especially in the past. In the 80s, many wrestlers were widely known to and have admitted to using cocaine, steroids and other drugs. And because, unlike most sports, wrestling has no off season, these athletes were pushing their bodies non-stop for years.
6. People Who Read Have a 20% Lower Mortality Rate
Good news for those of you who like to curl up with a good book, you’re statistically more likely to have extra time to read those books than someone who doesn’t. People who read have a 20% lower mortality rate than those who don’t.
Specifically, you need to read books to achieve the statistically significant benefits of reading, and magazines or newspapers won’t cut it. The speculated reason is that a book engages your mind in a way magazines and newspapers can’t, which translates into greater mental engagement and a tangible benefit to your overall lifespan.
5. Ford Fiestas Have the Highest Mortality Rate of Any Car
Have you ever heard that you have to pay higher insurance on red cars because they get stolen more often? It’s true that certain types of cars present unique risks for car owners but if you want to really get into which car is best or worst to be driving, you may want to think seriously about certain vehicles like the Ford Fiesta.
In 2017, data showed the Fiesta as the deadliest car on the road with a death rate of 141 per 1 million registered cars. Compare that to something like a Chevy Corvette at 54 or a Porsche Cayenne with 0.
Luxury SUVs actually have the lowest death rates overall while small cars have proven to be the least safe.
4. Human Mortality Goes Up in Areas Where Trees Die
Some things in life are inexorably linked together. If there are no bees, for instance, then flowers would suffer from a lack of pollinators. So what happens when trees start to die? People die, too.
Research has shown that, as the emerald ash borer devastated tree populations, there was a marked increase in diseases in human populations. Cases of heart disease and pneumonia began to rise. Over a 10 year period, 100 million trees died as a result. In the states where the trees died, 15,000 more people died from cardiovascular disease and 6,000 more succumbed to respiratory disease when compared to areas without the tree infections.
The data spanned 1,296 different counties and tried to factor in other variables as well. In the end it became clear that fewer trees equals higher mortality.
3. Too Much (or Too Intense) Exercise May Increase Mortality Rates
Surely if you want to live longer, then part of the key is to maintain a healthy lifestyle which includes plenty of exercise. Well, yes and no on that one. There’s plenty of evidence that living an active lifestyle is good for you but there’s also that “everything in moderation” saying.
The World Health Organization suggests that, every week, you get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity. And no, most people don’t get that much at all. But there is some limited data now that too much exercise at too great an intensity can start having the opposite effect of that desired. This stems from a study of joggers in which a couple of participants who went extremely vigorous in their exercise routine died.
Other studies have also shown that you may be at risk of cardiovascular problems if you frequently engage in serious endurance exercise like running marathons. These results are all still being debated, but there is also limited evidence that you get any benefit from pushing your workout to extremes, so the safest bet is probably to stay in the middle somewhere.
2. Taller People Have a Higher Mortality Rate
Some traits are seen as more desirable in modern, Western society than others. A lot of these traits are physical and we only have so much control over them on an individual basis. There’s little you can do, for instance, if you want to be tall but you aren’t. And yet it’s hard to deny that many people see being tall as desirable and attractive. So good news for the vertically challenged, there’s some evidence that being tall isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Taller people, in general, have a higher mortality rate.
In one study, every four inches of height increased the risk of all types of cancer in postmenopausal women by 13%. Each additional inch in height for men turns into a 2.2% increased chance of death from literally any cause compared to shorter people.
1. Robert Liston Performed a Surgery with a 300% Mortality Rate
We touched on some of the dangers of surgery either but even among the deadliest of surgeries the mortality rate is often a number that makes sense, at least mathematically. But there is at least one case when that didn’t happen and a single surgery managed to end with a 300% mortality rate. If you’re doing the math yourself, that means one person got surgery and three people died as a result.
You have to take some gentle liberties with this tale but it’s been documented well enough to hold some water. To start, the procedure was performed by doctor Robert Liston, a surgeon in the early 1800s before the invention of anesthesia.
Liston was apparently known to be fairly competent but, most importantly for the time, fast. If surgery had to be done with no anesthesia, then you can imagine why speed would be of the essence. And for this surgery Liston Was to be performing an amputation. He accomplished his intended goal as well, removing a patient’s leg in just two and a half minutes. We know the time because Liston, apparently somewhat arrogant in regards to his skill, asked to be timed.
In two and a half minutes, Liston had condemned three people to death. His first victim was an observing doctor who was there to watch the procedure. As Liston was sawing the patient’s leg off at the hip, he switched from one cutting implement to another. In his haste, he slashed through the coat of the observing doctor and though he never cut the man, apparently the fellow was overwhelmed by the fact he saw spurting blood and felt the pull on his coat as Liston tore through it. He died of a heart attack.
Meanwhile, Liston needed the patient to be restrained for obvious reasons, so an assistant had to hold the poor man down. Liston cut the assistant’s fingers off as he removed the patient’s legs.
Both surgical assistant and patient went on to develop gangrenous infections and die a short time later, this cementing Liston as the only doctor ever to kill three people in a single surgery.