Life Expectancy and the Decline of Illness
This chart is something that should be so widely, recognized displayed, and discussed. I really marvel how many people ask me for copies of it. Although it’s… they’re the very generally available vital statistics. This is life expectancy in the U.S. during the century. The most important factor of it is the difference between the beginning and the end. An enormous increase, improvement in life expectancy which is an indicator of health, of freedom from death, and to some degree freedom from illness.
Source: Social Security Office of the Chief Actuary
Most of that rise is the first 50 years, and that’s almost entirely attributable to the decline of infectious disease as a cause of mortality. Since that time infectious disease has played a declining role in the total, and there’s been creeping progress in dealing with the constitutional ills of human kind - of which heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer still remain the most important ingredients.