**Boozing's shock toll revealed
**

- The data in the article are represented in 'person-years of life lost annually'. How do you think they were worked out? What do you need to know to calculate how many people died each year?
- Do you think the data can be misrepresented if you change the average life span and the age range at the time of death used in the calculations?
- Calculate the number of people that died if the average life span was 70 years and the average age of the people when they died was 20 years.
- Calculate the number of people that died if the average life span was 45 years and the average age of the people when they died was 20 years.
- Compare the answers from Q3 & Q4. Do you think the information could be easily biased to look worse than it already is?
- Make changes to the assumptions in Q3 & Q4 to make the information look better than in the article. Calculate the number of person-years from your new data. Again, compare this information to the article and consider the bias you created and how this may impact on a reader's impression of the information.
- The study says that 62,900 person-years of life are lost annually. From the percentages, calculate the number of person-years of life lost annually for each of the sections.
- What is the problem you would encounter if you tried to construct
a pie-chart from this information?

(Written by Noleine Fitzallen, BTeach student, University of
Tasmania, 2001)

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