Doubling Life Expectancy Over the Past 150 Years

We now have a life expectancy of just under 80 years, which is double what it was 150 years ago. The biggest differences are an understanding of how germs spread disease and the creation of clean water supplies. Improvements in personal hygiene, food handling and the development of vaccines have also played key roles. Our knowledge management skills now give us the ability to identify such key knowledge and distribute it much faster than in the past. Our expected length of life should continue to increase as we continue to manage and implement the related knowledge well.

Why Are You Not Dead Yet? – [slate.com]

Life expectancy doubled in the past 150 years. Here’s why.

The most important difference between the world today and 150 years ago isn’t airplane flight or nuclear weapons or the Internet. It’s lifespan. We used to live 35 or 40 years on average in the United States, but now we live almost 80. We used to get one life. Now we get two.

You may well be living your second life already. Have you ever had some health problem that could have killed you if you’d been born in an earlier era? Leave aside for a minute the probabilistic ways you would have died in the past—the smallpox that didn’t kill you because it was eradicated by a massive global vaccine drive, the cholera you never contracted because you drink filtered and chemically treated water. Did some specific medical treatment save your life? It’s a fun conversation starter: Why are you not dead yet? It turns out almost everybody has a story, but we rarely hear them; life-saving treatments have become routine. I asked around, and here is a small sample of what would have killed my friends and acquaintances:

SEE ALSO:
Human Immortality

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