Monday, November 18, 2013

Why We Live 40 Years Longer Today Than We Did in 1880

There is an interesting article in The Atlantic November edition with this title. The interactive graphic is worth a visit. I quote from the article:
The late 19th and early 20th centuries were a golden era of American health innovation. Breakthroughs like germ theory, antibiotics, and widespread vaccination, as well as major public-health advances in sanitation and regulation, neutralized many long-leading causes of death. Life expectancy skyrocketed as a result, but brought with it new demons. For the past 50 years, medical innovation has focused less on eradicating disease and more on managing chronic conditions.
A doubling of life expectancy is -- if you think about it -- amazing. I suppose that mankind will not see a further doubling. The past success has been due to reductions in the mortality rates among young people. Even in the past, once folk had survived childhood, many went on to live into their 7th and 8th decades, and a few lived to 100 or more. We are not seeing people living to 150, and I rather doubt that we will see such longevity achieved in the next century or two.

The revolutionary extension of life expectancy has spread to part of the developing world.

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