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Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:09 PM

People live longer but are not always healthier: study

People live more than a decade longer on average today than they did in 1970, but spend much of these boon years battling diseases like cancer, according to a global health review published Thursday.

By 2010, a man's life expectancy at birth had risen 11.1 years from 1970 and that of a woman 12.1 years, said the bundle of seven studies published by The Lancet medical journal.

But as we live longer, bigger chunks of our lives are marred by illness, with non-infectious maladies like cancer and heart disease claiming ever more victims. "Over the last 20 years, globally, we've added about five years to life expectancy, but only about four years to healthy life expectancy," Josh Salomon from the Harvard School of Public Health, a study partner, told AFP by email. "You can think about it as adding the equivalent of four years of good health and one year of bad health."

Contributors to the study appealed for a shift in health policy focus from simply keeping people alive to keeping them healthy as well. "Health is about more than avoiding death," said Alan Lopez and Theo Vos of the University of Queensland's School of Population Health in a joint statement.

http://www.france24.com/en/20121213-people-live-longer-but-are-not-always-healthier-study

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Reply People live longer but are not always healthier: study (Original post)
FarCenter Dec 2012 OP
hay rick Dec 2012 #1
FarCenter Dec 2012 #3
former9thward Dec 2012 #2
FarCenter Dec 2012 #4
CaliforniaPeggy Dec 2012 #5

Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:19 PM

1. From the article...

"These diseases that cause chronic disability, they tend to be related to age, so as populations get older and premature mortality rates go down, you have more people living into the age groups where these are quite common," said Murray.

Sounds like it's mostly the price of success in extending longevity. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, plateaus, or reverses as the effects of austerity and stagnant economies in developed countries kicks in.

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Response to hay rick (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:25 PM

3. Hard to say

I'd guess that most increases in life span are due to drugs and medical technology.

Life span may come down some, but probably not too much if austerity also leads to less overeating, drinking and risky behaviors.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:24 PM

2. By definition death is a health problem.

If your body is in good health you do not die unless by accident. The idea that we can be healthy until the moment we die is ridiculous.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:28 PM

4. But you can be relatively healthy until a brief terminal illness

For example, you can die of stroke or heart failure in a matter of hours or of pneumonia in a matter of days.

Multi-year battles with terminal cancer of multiple stenting and heart bypass operations are a recent development.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:28 PM

5. The longer we live, the more likely it is that we will become diseased.

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