April 4, 2001

Y2K Revisited: A Human Component?

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor


Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

JAMA. 2001;285(13):1706-1707. doi:10.1001/jama.285.13.1706

To the Editor: Few events in recent times have been as anticlimactic as the Y2K transition. Whether it was because of thorough preparedness or overstated worries about a largely nonexistent problem, January 1, 2000, came and went uneventfully in the electronic world. Yet, in all the attention about internal electronic dates, the possible effect of Y2K on the timing of human mortality may have been overlooked.

I determined the total number of deaths for the past 4 years that occurred each month at Yale-New Haven Hospital, exclusive of fetal deaths. Cause of death was determined from the death certificate and grouped into 1 of 10 categories. Statistical analysis of outlier months was performed using the Fisher protected least significant difference test.

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