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Medicine United States Science

US Life Expectancy May Have Peaked 1053

Hugh Pickens writes "Live Science reports that although life expectancy in the United States has risen to an all-time high of 77.9 years in 2007 up from 77.7 in 2006, gains in life expectancy may be pretty much over, as some groups — particularly people in rural locations are already stagnating or slipping in contrast to all other industrialized nations. Hardest hit are regions in the Deep South, along the Mississippi River, in Appalachia and also the southern part of the Midwest reaching into Texas. The culprits — largely preventable with better diet and access to medical services — are diabetes, cancers and heart disease caused by smoking, high blood pressure and obesity. What the new analysis reveals is the reality of two Americas, one on par with most of Europe and parts of Asia, and another no different than a third-world nation with the United States placing 41st on the 2008 CIA World Factbook list, behind Bosnia but still edging out Albania. 'Beginning in the early 1980s and continuing through 1999 those who were already disadvantaged did not benefit from the gains in life expectancy experienced by the advantaged, and some became even worse off,' says a report published in PLoS Medicine by a team led by Harvard's Majid Ezzati, adding that 'study results are troubling because an oft-stated aim of the US health system is the improvement of the health of "all people, and especially those at greater risk of health disparities.'"
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US Life Expectancy May Have Peaked

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  • by TheLostSamurai ( 1051736 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @02:41PM (#29136505)
    That guys gonna be pissed he won't actually be able to live forever.
  • Re:Slashkos (Score:3, Funny)

    by Spatial ( 1235392 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @02:44PM (#29136553)
    I modded your post 'funny' by accident. Posting to undo.
  • by aquatone282 ( 905179 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @02:44PM (#29136561)

    Just wait until government Death Panels start pulling the plug on Grandmas!

  • Re:Slashkos (Score:5, Funny)

    by eln ( 21727 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @02:46PM (#29136579)
    You need to calm down before you give yourself a heart attack and drag the average down even more.
  • by jameskojiro ( 705701 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @02:53PM (#29136677) Journal

    The key is to extend the amount of work you can squeeze out of a person before they finally keel over.

  • Re:Ironic? (Score:5, Funny)

    by dogmatixpsych ( 786818 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:02PM (#29136843) Journal
    But at least they die free.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:06PM (#29136923) Journal
    This might mean all those calculations projecting imminent bankruptcy of social security will have to be redone. If people are not going to live as long as they do now, there will be that much reduced pressure on the social security trust fund. Couple it with stalling the insurance reform, make healthcare more expensive, and bump another 45 million more Americans off health insurance. That way we can bring down the number of people getting on to the social security benefits and the duration also will be cut. So looks like all these problems are self correcting and they will solve themselves. Of course we may not like the way the problems solve themselves and we might personally get the short end of the stick too. But we at least know how the problems are going to solve themselves.
  • by PingSpike ( 947548 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:21PM (#29137199)

    Man, that's some heavy shit to think about. After reading that I could really go for the relaxing comfort that can only be provided by a Big Mac value meal washed down with a ice cold budweiser or twelve.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:23PM (#29137229) Homepage Journal

    If you're lucky, young man, you'll die young and not have to eat those words. Now get off my lawn!

  • Re:Slashkos (Score:3, Funny)

    by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday August 20, 2009 @03:32PM (#29137411)
    Bah, screw Greece. What have THEY ever accomplished?
  • If he would have had health insurance, he'd be alive today,

    Haruumpph! Only if Obama's death panels didn't decide to euthanise him first!!

  • Re:Slashkos (Score:4, Funny)

    by Pascal Sartoretti ( 454385 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @04:10PM (#29138119)

    Obesity causes more health problems, and as a result more spending. But of course, Moore wouldn't say that, because now instead of blaming the big, bad corporations and government, he would be asking his viewers to take some personal responsibility (which seems to be a progressive idea).

    Maybe he didn't say that simply because he is, well, fat.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @04:23PM (#29138417)

    The combined experience of the Nordic countries for half a century now should stand as proof that, even if everything in life is provided for you, the vast, vast majority of people still go out and work for a living.

    See, Socialism warps your mind. Can't even count on them to be decently lazy when the situation calls for it!

  • by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @04:37PM (#29138617)

    It's like my great-grandfather would say when pressed to quit smoking: "Sure it takes years off your life. The years you spend laying in a bed, crapping yourself, being ignored by your family and 'touched' by a lonely, molesting orderly who dropped out of high school."

  • by nolifetillpleather ( 975338 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @07:14PM (#29140847)
    Jeez, not even Douglas Adams could afford health insurance? We're in trouble.
  • by SETIGuy ( 33768 ) on Thursday August 20, 2009 @07:38PM (#29141083) Homepage
    Dear Red States:

    We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and
    we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware,
    that includes California , Hawaii , Oregon , Washington , Minnesota ,
    Wisconsin , Michigan , Illinois , and all of  the Northeast. We believe this
    split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the
    new country of New California.

    To sum up briefly: You get Texas , Oklahoma and all the slave states.
    We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the Statue of
    Liberty . You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get
    WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss. We get 85 percent of
    America 's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama . We get
    two-thirds of the tax revenue and two-thirds of the gross national product;
    you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

    Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's,
    we get a bunch of happy families. Please be aware that Nuevo California will
    be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at
    once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. With the Blue States in
    hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water,
    more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's
    fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state
    dinners), 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the
    U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and
    Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

    With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88
    percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care
    costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the
    tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern
    Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh,
    Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

    We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

    Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was
    actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred
    unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say
    that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved
    in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people
    with higher morals then we lefties.

    Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed
    they grow in Mexico .

    Peace out,

    Blue States
  • You can start by explaining how the panel will make their euthanasia decisions. Please summarize the exact process of decision making that Obama has proposed in outline form.

    Isn't it obvious? First they'll check if you're a Christian(TM). Then they'll see if you're a Republican(R). Then they'll check if you Love Freedom(c). The second you trigger their commi-socalo-facist True Blue Patriot detector, you'll be as good as dead. I watch Fox News! I listen to conservative radio! I'm a member of the K^CNRA. I know what's going on!! You can't fool me!!! This is socialism!!! SOCALISM!!! Our great nation is being taken over by the Soviets!!!! Pretty soon we'll all be speaking Russian!!!!!!!!!!!! I've got my Rifle and the Lord At My Side!! I'm ready to DEFEND the Homeland!! RONNIE!!!! Can you HEAR meee?!?!?! I'm FIGHTN' For Ya Ronnie!! You and Dick Nixon and George W. Bush!!!!

    GOD SAVE FREEDOM!!!!!!111


"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger