According to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control, the American life expectancy has risen to an all-time high. Children born in 2009 are expected to live to up to 78 years and 2 months of age. Children born the previous year are expected to live 78 years. In 1930, men were expected to live up to the age of 58; women were expected to live up to 62. Deaths in the US are down, with 36,000 fewer deaths occurring in 2009 than the year before.
There are many factors contributing to longer lifespans, from advances in medicine to better understanding of proper diets and exercise. People know now what will help them live longer and better. Technology plays a big role in life expectancy, as the advancements in medicine are greatly attributed to the advancements in technology.
Take recent developments showing the ability to detect lung cancer earlier. A form of cancer known for being notoriously difficult to diagnose in its early stages, researchers now say they have a non-invasive measure to test those at high risk. By shining diffuse light on cells swabbed from patients’ cheeks, doctors will be able to look for early signs of lung cancer without having to put patients through a barrage of invasive and expensive tests.
Also, with the light shining brightly on the plague of obesity, many are looking to healthier alternatives to just about every guilty pleasure. Trans-fats are now a thing of the past; sodium has decreased in many foods. More and more people are controlling their portions, and many are taking up exercise. This means fewer people turning to doctors for weight-related issues, and more people not being sick because of how much they weigh.
As much as there is things to look forward to in the advancements of medicine and health care, recent events leave many wondering just exactly what kind of world they will inherit. With the crisis in Japan costing already many lives and inevitably many more, the world is facing an uncertain future. Many are wondering when and where the next big earthquake will hit, and just how devastating the damage will be. Global warming is a also very serious threat, and for those sensitive to rising (and steadily decreasing) temperatures, weather is a health issue. Natural disasters are becoming more and more frequent, leaving many to hope that advances in technology will also lead to advancements in infrastructure. Also, with many government officials looking to combat accessible healthcare in the US, there is a great chance that only those with the best health insurance will be able to take advantage of the advances in medicine.
Angela Haupt, “Health Buzz: U.S. Life Expectancy Hits All-Time High”, USNews.com
Associated Press, “New Record-High U.S. Life Expectancy”, HuffingtonPost.com
Editorial Staff, “Early lung cancer detection: Optical Technology Shows Potential for Prescreening Patients at High Risk”, ScienceDaily.com