Will Heart Disease, Cancer, and Dementia Disappear?
Heart disease deaths down 60% since 1970. Cancer occurrences off 23% since 1991. Dementia rates falling 45% since the late 1970s. What’s behind all this good news? Surprisingly, scientists aren’t entirely sure. There are many well-understood health trends at play but even working together, these influences don’t fully explain the situation.
- Early detection. Improved screening technologies and better protocol compliance explains much of colon cancer’s 50% reduced mortality rates.
- Bigger bodies. Weak bones are known to increase the probability of hip fractures. Today’s heavier bodies mean stronger bones and fewer breaks.
- Cardiovascular health. Lower cholesterol and well-controlled blood pressure mitigate heart attacks and strokes as well as reduce dementia rates.
- Advanced medications. Infectious disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease – all have been beaten back with safer, more effective and targeted drugs.
- The United States’ smoking population has dropped from 42% in the 1960s to just over 16% today, dramatically cutting the incidence of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and a host of other diseases.
For more information, check out the New York times article linked below.