Tag Archives | Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy Declines Markedly For Uneducated White Americans

PCHS Students 1Stay in school kids! Sabrina Tavernese reports on some shocking new stats for the New York Times:

For generations of Americans, it was a given that children would live longer than their parents. But there is now mounting evidence that this enduring trend has reversed itself for the country’s least-educated whites, an increasingly troubled group whose life expectancy has fallen by four years since 1990.

Researchers have long documented that the most educated Americans were making the biggest gains in life expectancy, but now they say mortality data show that life spans for some of the least educated Americans are actually contracting. Four studies in recent years identified modest declines, but a new one that looks separately at Americans lacking a high school diploma found disturbingly sharp drops in life expectancy for whites in this group. Experts not involved in the new research said its findings were persuasive.

The reasons for the decline remain unclear, but researchers offered possible explanations, including a spike in prescription drug overdoses among young whites, higher rates of smoking among less educated white women, rising obesity, and a steady increase in the number of the least educated Americans who lack health insurance.

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Easter Island May Hold Anti-Aging Miracle Drug

easter-island-head-289121-swThe secret to slowing down aging is in the soil? Easter Island continues to grow spookier and spookier. The Independent reports:

A drug originating on Easter Island, the mysterious South Pacific home of a lost statue-building people, may become the first substance to slow down human aging, new research indicates.

Rapamycin, a pharmacological product used to prevent rejection in organ transplants, has been found to extend the lifespan of mice by up to 38 per cent, raising the possibility that it may delay ageing in people.

Rapamycin is a bacterial product originally found in a soil sample from Easter Island. Originally developed as an anti-fungal agent, rapamycin was soon found to have powerful immuno-suppressant properties and thus be valuable for preventing rejection of transplanted organs. Now, however, it has been shown to affect the ageing of mice – the first time that this has ever been shown with a mammal.

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Mass Privatization Can Kill

Source: BBC/The Lancet

Source: BBC/The Lancet

The BBC reported in January of 2009:

The rapid mass privatisation which followed the break up of the Soviet Union fuelled an increase in death rates among men, research suggests.

The UK study blames rapidly rising unemployment resulting from the break-neck speed of reform.

The researchers said their findings should act as a warning to other nations that are beginning to embrace widespread market reform.

The study features online in The Lancet medical journal.

The researchers examined death rates among men of working age in the post-communist countries of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union between 1989 and 2002.

They conclude that as many as one million working-age men died due to the economic shock of mass privatisation policies.

Following the break up of the old Soviet regime in the early 1990s at least a quarter of large state-owned enterprises were transferred to the private sector in just two years.

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Ray Kurzweil: No Energy Or Water Shortages, Climate Change Is No Problem

Ray Kurzweil. Photo by Michael Lutch. Courtesy of Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.

Ray Kurzweil. Photo by Michael Lutch. Courtesy of Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.

Lauren Feeney elicited some gems from futurist Ray Kurzweil in her interview for PBS. Among his predictions:

  • “In 20 years we’ll be meeting all of our energy needs with solar.”
  • Life extension technology is about to take off — meaning far greater life expectancy.
  • There will be no water shortage as we use the abundant electricity to convert polluted water.
  • We are going to have plenty of food from “vertical agriculture, where we grow plants, fruits, vegetables and meat in computerized factories by artificial intelligence; hydroponic plants tended by intelligent robots to create fruits and vegetables, in-vitro cloned meats, basically just cloning the part of the animal that you want to eat, which is the muscled tissue.”
  • We shouldn’t worry about climate change — the new technologies we’re developing will beat it.

Crazy stuff! I’m not sure I want to eat cloned portions of animals grown in a lab…

Read the whole interview at PBS.… Read the rest

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Smoking The Cause Of Low U.S. Life Expectancy

smokingWhy does the U.S. spend more on health care than any other nation while its population has a life expectancy lower than in many other developed countries? According to a new government report: smoking. From WebMD:

Life expectancies in the U.S. are now lower than for many other industrialized countries, and the nation’s past love affair with tobacco is largely to blame, government officials say.

In a report released Tuesday, a panel commissioned by the National Research Council sought to explain why the U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation, yet Americans are dying younger than some of their counterparts in other high-income countries.

Over the past two and a half decades, life expectancies continued to rise in the U.S., but at a slower pace than those seen in Australia, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, and other high-income European countries.

The average live expectancy for men in the U.S.

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