The Anonymous Widower

A Curious Link Between Pancreatic Cancer And COVID-19

i am involved in fund raising for pancreatic cancer research at Liverpool University, because my youngest son died of the awful disease, at just thirty-seven, leaving a widow and an eight-year-old daughter.

I am also a passionate analyser of data and databases.

For a few weeks now, I have had a feeling that there is a connection between pancreatic cancer and the  old Austro-Hungarian Empire.

I found this simple description of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on this page on the Internet.

The former Austro-Hungarian Empire was spread over a large part of Central Europe, it comprises present Austria and Hungary as well as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia and parts of present Poland, Romania, Italy, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro.

I had been looking at pancreatic cancer data on the World Life Expectancy database, which is based on World Health Organisation data.

I have built this table, which shows the top twenty countries for a death rate from pancreatic cancer.

These are the columns.

  1. Country
  2. Rate of pancreatic cancer deaths per 100,000 of the population.
  3. Quarantine or Travel Corridor based on this page of the Government web site.
  4. Member of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

These are the top twenty countries.

  1. Hungary – 11.35 – Quarantine – AHE
  2. Uruguay – 10.72 – Quarantine
  3. Armenia – 10.34 – Quarantine
  4. Malta – 10.01 – Quarantine
  5. Czech Republic – 9.89 – Quarantine – AHE
  6. Estonia – 9.26 – Travel Corridor
  7. Iceland – 9.21 – Quarantine
  8. Israel – 9.18 – Quarantine
  9. Slovakia – 9.17 – Quarantine – AHE
  10. Austria – 9.13 – Quarantine – AHE
  11. Finland – 8.78 – Travel Corridor
  12. Japan – 8.74 – Travel Corridor
  13. Latvia – 8.72 – Travel Corridor
  14. Germany – 8.68 – Travel Corridor
  15. Slovenia – 8.55 – Quarantine – AHE
  16. Denmark – 8.51 – Quarantine
  17. Netherlands – 8.38 – Quarantine
  18. Croatia – 8.30 – Quarantine – AHE
  19. Lithuania – 8.21 – Travel Corridor
  20. Luxembourg – 8.15 – Quarantine

Note.

  1. I would hope that the Government’s Travel Corridor list has been devised in a scientifically-correct manner.
  2. Am I right to assume that the Travel Corridor list is a good measure of the level of Covid-19 in the country?
  3. The pancreatic cancer data is from 2018.

Of the countries I mentioned earlier, as being partly in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, only Montenegro is in the top thirty countries for pancreatic cancer deaths.

My Thoughts On The Data

These are my thoughts on the data.

The Significance Of The Austro-Hungarian Empire

Consider.

  • All the countries that were fully or partly in the Austro-Hungarian Empire  are on the Government Quarantine List, with the exception of Italy.
  • Many will argue, including myself, that Italy, has too high a Covid-19 rate for a visit.
  • Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia are in the top twenty countries for pancreatic cancer deaths.

It looks to me, that there is a correlation in there somewhere.

Germany And Japan Are The Odd Ones Out

The list of countries with high levels of pancreatic cancer, where there is no quarantine are.

  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Germany
  • Lithuania

If you eliminate the Baltic States and Finland from the worse countries for pancreatic cancer, you’re left with Germany and Japan.

Is There A Jewish Dimension?

I ask this question for these reasons.

  • Israel is eighth on the pancreatic cancer list and has high levels of Covid-19 according to various news reports, like this one on the BBC, which is entitled Coronavirus: Israel Tightens Second Lockdown Amid Acrimony.
  • I am not Jewish, but my great-great-great-grandfather from Konigsberg probably was and it looks like I inherited my coeliac disease from him and gave it to my son, who died from pancreatic cancer.
  • The Baltic States and Finland, don’t seem to have large Jewish populations for various reasons and they have high levels of pancreatic cancer, but low levels of Covid-19.
  • Germany has the third largest Jewish population in Europe, but seems to have done well in fighting Covid-19. Is that because their well-funded healthcare system has worked?
  • Wikipedia states that, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was favourable to the Jews and even a sizeable numbers of its Army officers in Word War One were Jewish.
  • According to reports locally and my observations, it appears that the Jewish community in Hackney, where I live has been badly hit by Covid-19.

I need an appropriate historian to give me answers.

Conclusion

I believe the correlation between pancreatic cancer and Covid-19 could be rather strong. More research needs to be done, as to why.

But I do wonder, if undiagnosed coeliac disease, as in my son, could be the alligator in the swamp.

Undiagnosed coeliacs seem to have poor immune systems, which makes them more susceptible to everything, that’s going around.

The more I learn about coeliac disease and its myriad effects on health, the more I’m convinced that it should be one of the diseases checked for in all young children.

It would certainly have changed my miserable always-ill childhood for the better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 3, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 3 Comments

All Aboard The Bamford Hydrogen Bus Revolution

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Air Quality News.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Air Quality News editor Jamie Hailstone talks to JCB heir and hydrogen advocate, Jo Bamford, about why it is the fuel of the future for buses.

It is a good read, as Jo Bamford details his vision to change public transport with thousands of hydrogen-powered buses.

He talks in a common-sense manner, about the economics and practicalities of zero emission buses, of which this paragraph is typical.

‘I have a bus manufacturing business,’ he adds. ‘We make a diesel bus, a battery double-decker and a hydrogen double-decker. A battery double-decker will do 60% of the distance of a diesel bus and take 4.5 hours to charge. A hydrogen bus will do the same distance as a diesel bus and take seven minutes to fill up. If you are running a bus for 22 hours a day, you can’t afford to charge them up for 4.5 hours a day.

Jo Bamford finishes with.

I think hydrogen is a sexy, cool thing to be looking at.

I agree with him and we should get started on lots of hydrogen buses and their hydrogen supply network.

As I wrote in Daimler Trucks Presents Technology Strategy For Electrification – World Premiere Of Mercedes-Benz Fuel-Cell Concept Truck, Mercedes are going the hydrogen route with big trucks and these trucks will need a hydrogen supply network to be built in the UK.

So surely, we should look at decarbonisation of buses and heavy trucks in an holistic way, by creating that hydrogen supply network in the UK.

Ryze have now obtained planning permission for their first big electrolyser at Herne Bay and it now has its own web site, which includes this video, explaining Ryze Hydrogen’s philosophy.

Let’s hope that this first electrolyser, grows into the network the country needs.

 

October 3, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment