Longevity is declining — not growing

Longevity is declining – not growing

The scientists/doctors/epidemiologists/researchers often get this wrong.  Without thinking it through, they keep working out the centenarian death rates based on long-term historical data.  They are basing their thinking on that today’s centenarians were born in the early 1900s so they will continue to live longer lives as the ‘life-extending medical miracles’ will keep the centenarian numbers growing.  This does not take into account the obesity/diabetes epidemic of the younger generation, the cancer and heart disease explosion over the last 70 years, or the chronic lowering of fertility rates over the last 50 years. 
Here is a just a quick grab-bag of the very latest statistics that tells a very different story about upcoming non-longevity;

  • Kids today are expected to die at earlier age than their parents.  This generation of children may be the first that won't live as long as their parents according a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February of 2010.  Childhood obesity is leading to shorter lifespans.  The medical journal found that due to obesity and other cardiovascular risk factors, this generation of kids can expect to live two to five year less than their parents and grandparents. Dr. Kari Hegeman, a paediatrician at Dean Clinic in Madison said “This is a shocking and a serious wake-up call.  It’s an effect that’s equal to all cancers combined”. 
  • The proportion of 18-year-olds expected to develop diabetes in their lifetimes has increased by almost 50% among women and almost doubled among men.  “We found a pattern that points to a prolonged period of health problems rather than longer healthy lifespans…” said lead researcher Solveig Cunningham, Ph.D., of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.  Study published in the October 2011 issue of Diabetes Care.  
  • Obese individuals experienced the greatest losses in lifetime without diabetes over the past 20 years, estimated at 5.6 years for men and 2.5 years for women.  While life expectancy at age 18 for American men and women increased between the 1980s and the 2000s, the number of years an 18-year-old would expect to live without diabetes fell by 1.7 years for men and 1.5 years for women.  
  • Diabetes is soon poised to overtake cardiovascular conditions as one of the leading killers.  Study reported at the 2011 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association.  
  • One in three people born after the year 2000 or under the age of 12 will end up with diabetes.
  • Experts believe up to 700,000 Australians have diabetes without knowing it.  Over the past decade, the number of Victorians known to have diabetes has more than doubled to 252,000, with 73 new cases each day.  This is just Victoria.  
  • Researchers from Northwestern University found that 83% of US men and 72% of US women will be overweight or obese by the year 2020.  This may result in more than 50% of the adult population developing diabetes.  
  • The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has increased by almost 130,000 to 2.9 million in the past 12 months.  Of these, 90% are type II diabetes. 
  • Over 50% of adult Germans are now overweight or obese.
  • By 2020-2030, 10% of the West will have diabetes.
  • Being overweight will become the biggest cause of cancer deaths in women by 2018.

This is just a handful of studies on diabetes and leaves out the #1 and #2 killers; cancers and heart disease.  Both of which are still rising.  

Posted: Thursday 22 December 2011