Did you know Todd County has a sin ranking?

Oh, yes. Researchers and census takers are busy, busy, busy. Not all counties have been rated but we’re among the lucky ones. Now we can see how we stack up with other parts of Minnesota in the competition of the seven deadly sins. Since early Christian times people having been casting a critical eye at one another. That’s what society is all about, right? To keep each other on the straight and narrow or as a more formal mission statement would put it: to educate and instruct followers concerning fallen humanity’s tendency to sin.

Since a good percentage of modern folk can’t recite the Ten Commandments much less the Seven Cardinal Sins, here they are: pride, greed, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, sloth. The rating was put together by website creater Forum One Communications as a light-hearted demonstration of what you can do with readily available public health data.

And how do we rate? Here are the numbers:

Pride, 9%; Greed, 41; Envy, 7%; Wrath, NA; Lust, 70; Gluttony , 28%; Sloth, 14%

The numbers don’t look too bad, except what’s that 28% in gluttony? 41 in greed? And lust at 70?? The numbers make us look like fat, greedy, nymphomaniacs. But are we really?

Time to analyze the numbers. Since that lusty number is the highest, let’s look at it first. The sub-title in that category is “Chlamydia Rate.” What’s that, you say? Chlamydia is an STD, formerly known as a VD, and when exactly did the acronym change? A Venereal Disease by any other name is a Sexually Transmitted Disease. To quote from the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute which compiled the data and reported the Center for Disease Control’s findings, “Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STI in North America and is one of the major causes of tubal infertility, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, and chronic pelvic pain. STIs in general are associated with a significantly increased risk of morbidity and mortality, including increased risk of cervical cancer, involuntary infertility, and premature death.”

Already VD has moved on from STD to STI–Sexually Transmitted Infection. That must be a lesser form than “disease.” While I would love to dig into some of the terms within the quoted statement, we need to move on to determine what that rating of 70 means.

Here’s how the number was determined: Chlamydia incidence (the number of new cases reported) is reported as a rate per 100,000 population.

You were thinking it meant 70 % of the population of Todd County was infected with this STI. Right? Well, you were wrong. It means that 70 people out of 100,000 have recently been diagnosed (new cases reported) with Chlamydia. If my math is right, that means the lust rate should accurately be reported as .07%. Todd County’s population, as of 2008, was 23, 917. That means that fewer than 20 people in the county were recently diagnosed with the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in North America.

So, our lust level (as determined by the CDC and the U of W) is low, our wrath didn’t even hit the charts and all we really have to worry about is the obesity. You’ll have to check out how they came up with that number Devil_mythic_thumb4.jpgon your own. That greed number, too.

Did I mention that Hennepin County’s lust rate is 423?

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