Blockbusters: Zika virus on birth defects and income on life expectancy

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This week, Amol and Nathan discuss two high profile papers:

Authors from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a report concluding that there is a causal relationship between Zika virus infection and a syndrome of birth defects, notably microcephaly. Nathan and Amol review the evidence the authors presented for this causality, and discuss why the CDC is speaking up now.

How do income and geography change life expectancy? A recent paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) brings an enormous depth and breadth of data to study income and longevity in the United States. Not only did they determine the shape of the curve between income and life expectancy, the authors also found that for low income individuals, where you live is substantially associated with how healthy you are. Amol and Nathan discuss the policy implications for this important study.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Tweet us @roundstable!

The Papers

1. Zika virus and birth defects journal article:

2. Zika virus and birth defects New York Times article:

3. Income and life expectancy:

Two Truths, One Lie




Good Stuff

1. “The Man Who Studied 1,000 Deaths to Learn How to Live”:

2. Vox’s The Weeds podcast:

Music Credits (Creative Commons)

In your Robotic Heart – Nicolai Heidlas

Drive – Nicolai Heidlas

Vintage Dream – Nicolai Heidlas

All tracks have been modified for the purposes of this podcast.

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