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People Are Living Longer, With More Disabilities Than Ever

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the no-boredom-does-not-count-as-a-disability dept.

Medicine 129

skade88 writes "Worldwide, people are living longer. Their lives are starting to look more like the lives of Americans: too much food is a problem, death in childhood is becoming less common, and so on. Yet with a population that lives through what would once have killed us, disabilities are starting to become the norm. A research report from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has a good glimpse into the new emerging world we find ourselves in." The Guardian has a nice visualization of the mortality data (but take note of shifting scales on the Y-axis).

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129 comments

Suicide Booths & Death Panels (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42295383)

That's what we need.

Fuck old people.

Re:Suicide Booths & Death Panels (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42297683)

We already have death panels. They're called insurance companies.

Re: Suicide Booths & Death Panels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42300923)

From working in a hospital, I can tell you Medicare does the same thing altho to a lesser degree. It really ticks me off when I see an Admitting clerk take the heat from a patient when they tell them, "Medicare will not pay for this test."

It's not an obesity (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42295427)

It's not an obesity, it's just a different body shape....

Re:It's not an obesity (1)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297239)

Must be the Spherical Cow [wikipedia.org] . Physics will be easier in the future.

Re:It's not an obesity (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298677)

I have to wonder how much of the supposed "obesity" and illnesses can end up being traced to all the chemicals we are ingesting and are exposed to every damned day of our lives? I had a friend that was always sick with one thing or another, had problems with his weight, moved out into the middle of nowhere in the desert and all of his problems went away once he was no longer sucking down chemicals all the time.

You look at the tests of the water that comes out the tap, the foods we eat, hell you can test the blood of a newborn and find plastic floating in the bloodstream. I would love to see someone just set vials up with the correct amounts of this and that chemical that the average person in the USA ingests because i'm sure it would shock most people.

Re:It's not an obesity (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42299375)

It's probably a problem, but it's much less of a problem than overeating, lack of exercise, stress and being under rested. I remember some years back dropping 30 lbs., just by cutting out between meal snacks and getting more shut eye.

It's probably worth researching, but until people are doing the things that are known to prevent obesity, there isn't much point in worrying about the possibilities of chemicals and such causing problems. In fact, you really need to rule out the things I listed to have any hope of narrowing down the cause.

Also, if we told the pro-obesity morons to shut the fuck up when they try to rationalize the choice to be obese we might get somewhere. Anybody who consumes less than what they are burning will lose weight and if you manage it with exercise you'll get healthier in that respect. Telling people that it's not their fault that they're fat, just dis-empowers them and gives people the idea that being fat is a legitimate lifestyle choice. In reality it's an extremely selfish thing people do to themselves and those around them.

I'm off about 80 pounds from my peak and feeling better than ever. But, it probably wouldn't have been 80 pounds if I had been hearing about the fact that I was gaining too much weight.

Re:It's not an obesity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42301267)

Selfish? Shorter life span, higher risk of fatal or debilitating disease, debilitation in general, poor body image, and lowered self esteem is being selfish?

Re:It's not an obesity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42301685)

Or perhaps people aren't eating enough fruit and veg and getting enough exercise.

I would say the poisonous world we live in causes cancer and other ailments, but not so much obesity.

I eat a lot of junk, but I also eat a lot of fruit - it seems to regulate weight, along with exercise which mostly consists of cycling to work (20 miles round trip), my weight is unwavering.

Re:It's not an obesity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42301973)

Do this.

A great reason... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42295473)

for people who believe in the free market systems to use the economies of scale arguments and support a single payer system to avoid a lot of expenses normally associated with duplication of efforts in the U.S's locally monopoly based health care system

Re:A great reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42295833)

If only they listened to you!

Speaking as an example... (3, Insightful)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | about a year and a half ago | (#42295483)

I'm a guy who recently had a piece of matter removed from the brain area and am still recovering six months later.

What's your point? Better that I was already dead?

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42295571)

I'm a guy who recently had a piece of matter removed from the brain area and am still recovering six months later. What's your point? Better that I was already dead?

I think the point is that there are more people like you in "the new emerging world we find ourselves in."

Re:Speaking as an example... (4, Insightful)

erice (13380) | about a year and a half ago | (#42295989)

I'm a guy who recently had a piece of matter removed from the brain area and am still recovering six months later.

What's your point? Better that I was already dead?

The point is that while there has a been a great deal of success in keeping people alive, there has been little success in keeping them healthy. Even putting aside the individual pain and suffering, there are serious economic consequences. Unhealthy people produce less and require more from society. The sicker they are, the more this is true. Eventually society may have to let people die that they technically could save because they can not afford the resources to keep these people alive.

Re:Speaking as an example... (3, Insightful)

blue trane (110704) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296219)

Economics is a tool that we invented to serve us. It is not some God that we must practice human sacrifice to.

If automation allows us to live a life where we are more free to do what we want, that's a good thing. We're closer to utopia.

Re:Speaking as an example... (3, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297651)

Nope. Economy is a tool we invented to understand and control how limited resources are used. The resources, being limited, will exhaust themselves even if you refuse to learn Economy or believe in it.

Re:Speaking as an example... (5, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298551)

Currently it seems to be more a tool to create fantasies about why under 1% of the population have a natural right to own more than half of everything while others die from overpriced medical care.

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299165)

Do not blame the ignorant or malicious misuse of a subject to the subject itself.

Re:Speaking as an example... (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299263)

When the abuses are that rampant and the twisted and broken logic pervades the literature, it does warrant subjecting any claims made to extraordinarily high scrutiny.

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299445)

Abuses are not as rampant as you may think. If everything you see is nonsense, you should question if maybe the nonsensical is you.

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42302291)

I can as easily say that the abuses are deeper and more fundamental than you might think. You should step back from the trees for a moment and have a look at the forest.

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42303571)

Spare me of your prejudices. Most of your "broken logic" that is pervasive in the literature, is more likely than not people telling things that, albeit true, are not what you want to hear. But by all means, keep pretending to yourself that you know better and see where it takes you.

WOW!!! (5, Interesting)

Evtim (1022085) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299871)

The most wasteful system ever devised by human is suggested as a "tool we invented to understand and control how limited resources are used"?
The system that burns hydrocarbons instead of using them only for organic synthesis (plastics, medicine). The system that resulted in planned obsolesce? The system that...I am lost for words.
There is only one sensible thing in your post - the word "believe" There is no other way to support this inhuman, irrational, wasteful socioeconomic system that to accept it is faith....

Re:WOW!!! (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42302113)

You are confusing Economy, a science, with Capitalism, an economic system. Even so Capitalism is far from be wasteful and even though it is far from perfect still the best economic system devised by mankind. It more than doubled the lifespan of humans, and greatly improved the quality of life of the average people. Unfortunately it has been distorted more and more into crony capitalism, in the last decades, due to the extreme economic power corporations gathered, but that is another discussion, and has nothing to do with the silly idea that "burning hydrocarbons" instead of using them exclusively for synthesis is a bad thing.

Re:Speaking as an example... (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300115)

Economy isn't about how limited resources are used, it is about how they are distributed and ownership. When it fails society steps in to redistribute, which is why most of western Europe has high quality social healthcare, for example.

The reality is that most western countries have more resources than we need, they are just distributed badly due to economics.

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42301731)

You're confusing the terms "economics" and "capitalism". Socialism, such as health care in Europe, is one of the topics studied in economics.

Re:Speaking as an example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42299385)

So, is it worth a thousand dollars to buy another week of life? $100k? $1m? $1bn? At some point the cost becomes too much to afford. Economics can help a bit with balancing the cost with what the quality of life is and the cost to society. I can't think of anybody that's so important that $1bn for a week is a reasonable deal. Now, if the money goes to create innovation that keeps many people healthier for longer, then that might be a different matter.

Notice, that most doctors don't engage in that bullshit to drag things out a few extra weeks. They take the medically advisable route and tend to recognize when it's time to give up the ghost. Dragging things out too long can definitely be worse than death.

I had a stroke and that cost about $14k to resolve and ultimately I pulled through more or less perfectly fine. So, it's clearly worth it, especially for young folks, but if I were 90 instead of 30, the calculation would be a bit different. As well it should be. If you're counting on extra time at 90, you've fucked up your own life.

Re:Speaking as an example... (1, Troll)

JackieBrown (987087) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296263)

Unhealthy people produce less and require more from society. The sicker they are, the more this is true. Eventually society may have to let people die that they technically could save because they can not afford the resources to keep these people alive.

These kind of stories are why we have things like the school shooting. It's not guns. This counrty has always had lots of people with guns.

What has changed is the way we see life. We see human life and teach it to our children as a problem. It's an overpopulation problem, people are evil, people are the earth's enemy, etc.

Movies like avator, underworld (last one,) planet of the apes, district 9, and others all show humanity (except for the film's heros) as revolting.

Re:Speaking as an example... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296583)

What has changed is the way we see life. We see human life and teach it to our children as a problem. It's an overpopulation problem, people are evil, people are the earth's enemy, etc.

Today we treat life as more precious than any time in our history. Up until the middle of this century, life was cheap. People regularly dying on their jobs was considered no big deal. People were left to starve or freeze if they couldn't afford to take care of themselves. We spend a fortune on the last few years of life now, before we'd just let people die. Your confused view of history makes me thing you're probably just as wrong about guns, but I don't think you should by trying to pull guns into this at all.

Re:Speaking as an example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42297461)

Unhealthy people produce less and require more from society. The sicker they are, the more this is true. Eventually society may have to let people die that they technically could save because they can not afford the resources to keep these people alive.

Yeah. Look at Stephen Hawking. Total drain on society.

Re:Speaking as an example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42297603)

That was a quote from the previous poster. You should be able to tell that since you managed to use the quote function yourself.

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297681)

So what? For each Stephen Hawking, who, despite his considerable disabilities, is able to give more to society than he takes, there are thousands of other who aren't. Nobody is saying that we would like to see them unattended, but at some point it may be necessary for society to severely limit the resources that are directed towards it.

Re:Speaking as an example... (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299039)

So what? For each Stephen Hawking, who, despite his considerable disabilities, is able to give more to society than he takes, there are thousands of other who aren't. Nobody is saying that we would like to see them unattended, but at some point it may be necessary for society to severely limit the resources that are directed towards it.

Now how can society know that a person who was allowed to die because of 'the cost' may or may not have been the person who in the future makes a discovery that would be of great benefit to humanity? Say, finds the cure for cancer or inexpensive power generation? Or would have been the parent of such a person?

Now the Nazi's believed in killing off the weak and infirm of mind and body. Not 'desirable' candidates for their "master race". Would these same rules apply to a cherished family member of yours? What of just plain caring for another life?

In the last 100 years many diseases have had cures, which never would have been cured if there had not been thoughtful, caring people to find the answers. No, I cannot accept this concept, it flys in the face of all that makes human beings worthy of being called "human".

Re:Speaking as an example... (3, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299193)

No they cannot. Nobody can know what a person who died could do, but when the cost to keep everyone alive no matter how much effort and resources need to be spent for that escalates to something that can't be sustained this becomes an irrelevant point.

Sure in the future we may be able to ban all diseases, then again we may not, but now there is so much we can do as a society and we need to weight the efforts needed, the resources compromised by these efforts and what will be left unattended as consequence.

If you have to neglect the education of 100 people to treat a very expensive disability of a single one for life what will you choose? These are the kind of hard choices that are necessary when the resources are not infinite.

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300129)

If you have to neglect the education of 100 people to treat a very expensive disability of a single one for life what will you choose? These are the kind of hard choices that are necessary when the resources are not infinite.

False dichotomy. There simply are not any medical procedures costing that much which would result in someone still being alive and not suffering unduly. Plus as a whole our societies have enough resources to provide everyone with high quality medical care, they are just not distributed in a way that allows that.

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42302173)

No it is not. There are plenty of medical treatments that cost enough today through a person's life to compare with the full education of a hundred people. And no society does not have the resources to give high quality medical care, high quality education, food, safety, structure and everything else needed without compromising. With the exception of the few places that have very high resources and very low populations that is simply not true. Even Sweden, which is the textbook example of this exception had to cut their traditional model of social security and turn it into the model used by private securities because it was collapsing.

Re:Speaking as an example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42301291)

What about the untold billions who do nothing but eat, shit, sleep and breathe?

What about the 'educated' stupid?

What about the people who draw lines and the sand and are then surprised and shocked when other people draw new lines?

Re:Speaking as an example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296429)

The point is that while there has a been a great deal of success in keeping people alive, there has been little success in keeping them healthy. Even putting aside the individual pain and suffering, there are serious economic consequences. Unhealthy people produce less and require more from society. The sicker they are, the more this is true. Eventually society may have to let people die that they technically could save because they can not afford the resources to keep these people alive.

and yet, software developers still have no clue about providing user interface frameworks that can be completely rearranged by the end user to fit their needs. With better interfaces, even disabled people can be economically viable contributors to society. sadly, Geeks rarely seem interested in this until they are disabled and then they can't because the tools they get to work with are outright hostile to disabled people.

Re:Speaking as an example... (5, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297709)

The point is that while there has a been a great deal of success in keeping people alive, there has been little success in keeping them healthy.

And assorted people, including those working in the health industry, have explained that this is a simple result of a "market" health system. Thus, I've heard or read a number of exchanges in which an interviewer asks a Pharm rep why their company has gotten out of the vaccine business. The reply is generally of the form "Because vaccines aren't profitable". The interviewer asks for further details. The rep explains that a vaccine cures the patient, or prevents them from even getting sick. This means that you sell them nothing, or maybe a few doses of a medicine, and then you make no more money from them. The profitable drugs/treatments are those that maintains the patient as a patient, requiring ongoing treatment for the rest of their lives.

I first ran across this, years ago, as a criticism of the commercial health system. But now I'm hearing it from the supporters and reps of that health system, as an explanation for why they're so profitable.

So if you want to be kept healthy, maybe you should be pushing for a system that wants you to be healthy, rather than one that wants you as a (paying) patient. The current system (at least here in the US) punishes the companies that market things that keep you healthy, and rewards those who convert you to a patient with a chronic condition.

Re:Speaking as an example... (2)

davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298977)

Obviously, the solution is that we all pay big pharmacy a monthly fee unless we are sick, in which case they get nothing.

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

w_dragon (1802458) | about a year and a half ago | (#42300445)

Vaccines aren't profitable if everyone is making them and the only way to compete is price. Neither is penicillin, or any medication that is reasonably cheap to produce and not protected by patents. Once only 1 or 2 companies are making vaccines they'll set the price where they'll make a nice profit and laugh about how they can get a 200% margin on something that is almost required by law.

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

jc42 (318812) | about a year and a half ago | (#42301269)

Vaccines aren't profitable if everyone is making them and the only way to compete is price

True, but that's equally true for all other drugs. The way it's usually handled is that the "innovator" company gets a patent. Then they have a monopoly for many years, because nobody can legally compete with them. Or they can license the drug and collect royalties while others do all the production and marketing work.

That's just what they do with most new drugs. But with vaccines, they don't seem to bother, because even with a legal monopoly, it's still difficult to recover the development costs.

Of course, this is made worse by the religious nuts who've been campaigning against vaccines lately. The idea seems to be that if God created the organism that causes a disease, you shouldn't violate God's will by interfering with that organism's life cycle. ;-) But, of course, this has nothing to do with economics.

Do non-market systems change things? (2)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about a year and a half ago | (#42301393)

The biggest richest EU countries have some flavor of public health care (different in all of them, of course). They have universities and scientists: the US isn't the only place capable of inventing drugs and cures.

Do they have single-dose medicines or curative therapies that the US doesn't?

Re:Speaking as an example... (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297853)

The point is that while there has a been a great deal of success in keeping people alive, there has been little success in keeping them healthy.

As a generality, this isn't true. We are getting much better at successfully treating many diseases and problems such that people are returning to society more functional than ever. Even older people are often living healthier lives (with concomitantly fewer medical bills).

Even putting aside the individual pain and suffering, there are serious economic consequences. Unhealthy people produce less and require more from society. The sicker they are, the more this is true. Eventually society may have to let people die that they technically could save because they can not afford the resources to keep these people alive.

It's much more nuanced than that. Yes, there are economic consequences. There are always economic consequences. You have to decide just what the economy is there for. Is it to keep JRR Tolikien's heirs rolling in money for multiple generations or is it to keep as much of the populace as happy as possible or some complex mix of the two extremes? If you're trying to make as much money for the 'economy' as possible, yes, you euthanize everyone who isn't producing at some set level. But instead of building another Aircraft Carrier group, perhaps society decides to spend the money on nursing home care for the less 'productive' folks. Is that a bad thing.

Economic arguments, when pushed to the extremes you seem to be pushing them, are pretty hollow constructs for a society.

Re:Speaking as an example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42298279)

Bullshit. There's a lot of success. I've got debilitating pain in my hip, which I didn't have before because the nerves were pinched by a burst disk. Pain is better than immobility. I'm in his statistics as disabled, but it sure beats bring crippled.

Re:Speaking as an example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42299413)

I'm not sure how exactly you got that way, but that sort of thing is usually preventable. I think what this says more than anything else is that we've done an inadequate job with mastering preventative medicine. Getting young people to come in for screenings and testing regularly to avoid future problems. That's where Obamacare will help the US out a great deal. Not sure about places like Canada and Europe though.

Re:Speaking as an example... (2, Insightful)

Chewbacon (797801) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298673)

You can do something for someone or something to someone. I see too many people come into my ICU, many are in their golden years, having treatment turn a fatally acute encounter turn into a long unhealthy condition. What does it do for them? Nothing. What does it do to them? Torture, steals their dignity. A neuro surgeon told me something like: sometimes my job is making people's time left on earth as undesirable and expensive as possible.

Re:Speaking as an example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296139)

Ultimately, only you can be the judge of that.

Re:Speaking as an example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296267)

I'm a guy who recently had a piece of matter removed from the brain area and am still recovering six months later.

What's your point? Better that I was already dead?

Not clear writing! The study purpose is quite the opposite, and should have been made explicit early on in the article, yet it's only explicit in one line in the middle of the second page:

“But the study should prompt us to think hard about what are the major causes of disability today, and what are the possible solutions that can accelerate progress against them.” -- emphasis added.

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296811)

Major cause: person kept alive
Solution: uhhh....

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297305)

I'm a guy who recently had a piece of matter removed from the brain area and am still recovering six months later.

What's your point? Better that I was already dead?

Depends. Was the piece of matter your frontal lobe?

Re:Speaking as an example... (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299831)

Says who? "There are more people with disabilities" does not mean "We need to kill people who have disabilities".
My great aunt said it several years ago already: People who would have died in the past are kept alive now. She was talking more about people at the end of their life. She was a person who was very much in favor of euthanasia, yet that dd not stop her from becoming the the oldest person in the world [wikipedia.org]
Oh and the "Wisdom" there is pure bullshit that she told the press.

When she was born, the doctor told her that she would not reach the age of 6 weeks. Due to the good care of her grandmother, she survived, but was always very sick. Other kids of that period would have died.

Another example is Stephen Hawking who would have died in different times. There are also the extremely obese people who would either not exist in different times, or would die much earlier.

You are an example as well. And this does not mean all those people should die. It just means they would have. This is not better or worse in it self. And even if you are personally involved, they are just cold facts. Nothing more, nothing less.

Now we know these facts, we can start to think what we are going to do with it. Perhaps trying to be more pro-active and not so much retro-active in our health system could be something to think about.
Abortion of kids with 'bad' DNA will be something else that might be put on the table.

A lot of good AND bad things will be put on the table, but that is not what this was about.

Well yeah (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year and a half ago | (#42295613)

People are dying slower.

And the biggest disability is . . . obesity! (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#42295625)

http://www.rttnews.com/2024044/obesity-is-a-bigger-problem-globally-than-hunger.aspx?type=hnr [rttnews.com]

Strange for both these news items to pop up at the same time . . .

Re:And the biggest disability is . . . obesity! (2)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296541)

You mis-quoted your link, which states that obesity is now a bigger killer than hunger. But not, in fact, the biggest (from the article):

In charting risk factors, the researchers found that diets low in fruit were responsible for more disease than obesity or physical inactivity. That conclusion was reached through analysis of the health effects of various components of diet and the number of people consuming diets high or low in those components.

"We were very surprised," Murray said of the fruit finding. "I'm a pretty profound diet skeptic. But the evidence on diet is as convincing as on obesity."

I guess I can admit to being completely surprised by that, if the study's authors were too.

Look at that sharp falloff in neonatal deaths (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42295631)

Look at that sharp falloff in neonatal deaths after birth. Whats up with that?

And nice to see diarrhea stays strong in the death game from one end of the spectrum to the other. And yet we have no American Diarrhea Society or Brown-Ribbon campaigns.

With More Disabilities Than Ever? (3, Insightful)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year and a half ago | (#42295677)

"With More Disabilities Than Ever"?

That is not necessarily so. There may just be more diagnosed and reported than ever, at least in releative terms.

In absolute numbers, yes. But that is due to Earth's population growth...

Re:With More Disabilities Than Ever? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298155)

It depends how you look at it.
In Australia you have an older population. When younger they where exposed to heavy industry, farming, transport over many years.
Mining, electrical, ship building, trams, busses, home building, cloth dying, pest control would be the classics.
Then you have exotic metals been moved down ducts - an example with a small jet with an AC issue. Staff would be feeling ill, not walking in a safe manner. The press LOL at reports - drunk. Heavy metal exposure will mean early and painful deaths.
Daddy worked in a mine, shipyard, electrical work, earning good cash, walked home covered in "dust", kids come running - nice welcome home hug.
Just as they are parents - 30-40 y later a slight cough sets in. Expert wants to know what they did to their lungs, explores family history, interviews father.
Another early and very painful death.
Solvent components used my the military are another interesting one. Drug, nuclear and gas testing during national service?
What will medical care look like :
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/04/ann-clwyd-husband-died-hen [guardian.co.uk]
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2240075/Now-sick-babies-death-pathway-Doctors-haunting-testimony-reveals-children-end-life-plan.html [dailymail.co.uk]
My thoughts are if you have US style insurance, work cover, war veterans cover (personal or from marriage) you will be kept alive for some cast flow to the hospital/care home.
You will be well treated with the best of personal care and tech. Drugs will be will tracked and corrected. Your billing codes pay the bills and a bit extra.
If your pension or cover is pulled - then your in for a ride.
Less drugs, less dr visits, longer waits -12, 24h before some form of care. That will add up. Late to hospital, a long wait, rushed staff...
A nice empty bed in months.

Re:With More Disabilities Than Ever? (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299751)

Human population growth. In some ways resulting in Earth population decline.

Personally I think a lot more should be done to reduce or cease increasing our numbers. Great, we can keep people alive for longer, and sure, more people alive as well. But why do we need more people? We did okay being below 1 billion for tens of thousands of years, or hundreds of thousands, depending on how you look at it.

Another in the list of "duh" studies (2)

neminem (561346) | about a year and a half ago | (#42295821)

Torchwood: Miracle Day was a great glimpse into the concept taken to the extreme. *Obviously* the more things used to kill you and now don't, the more people will live with crippling issues that used to be fatal ones. Not really news?

Shifting scale (1)

J-1000 (869558) | about a year and a half ago | (#42295861)

but take note of shifting scales on the Y-axis

This is so annoying.

Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42295867)

As in:

- Destruction through heating (like that whole heated dairy protein causing auto-immune diseases thing, but also destroying vitamins and enzymes).
- Extreme concentrations that would never appear in nature and cause strong imbalances (to the point of collapse) in the body (like sweets / stuff that's nearly pure starch, etc. but also salt or saturated fats).
- Lack of vital substances in plants grown on depleted soil that are only bigger because they have more water in them (adding to the imbalances, and causing many diseases).
- Thousands of drugs and unnatural substances given to animals and added to processed "food".

We shouldn't be surprised we get sick from them. We should be surprised our bodies are so resilient to survive this nasty waste at all!

Dr. M. O. Bruker studied these exact problems for five decades with over 50,000 patients... as did many others. And the result was always, that those so-called "age-related diseases" didn't come because of age, but *with* age... with decades of bad nutrition!

We've known this for 50 years now. But as long as the industry doesn't put the illness and pain of seven billion people above corporate greed, and as long as we the people don't stop buying their trash, and start supporting people people that *do* make good food for us... as long as *we* don't make that happen, nothing will change.
(Ask your local farmer and butcher and baker, etc. He'd love to sell you something of better quality. But he can't give you the illusion of cheapness because he won't employ the tricks and lies and shit that make you sick and will *really* cost you in the long term.)

Final conclusion: Thinking for the long term... thinking ahead... equals intelligence. The more a life-form can predict the future, and manipulate things so it ends up in his favor, the more intelligence it is. But it seems that nowadays, both people and companies, are just really fuckin' stupid.

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296183)

P.S.: Yay for the dumbest typo at the worst possible place! ;)

But hey, I bet nobody will even read that far, and everyone will dismiss it after reading, I don't know, the first line... to notice that it conflicts with his rigid beliefs (not knowledge. beliefs.), and hence choose to ignore everything that comes after it. I know today's Slashdot too well... :/

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (2)

Endovior (2450520) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296775)

Well... it doesn't help that you're an AC. Show some balls and post with your name. Maybe your karma will take a hit, maybe not, but you'll never know if you hide in the shadows. Really, it's just a number. Does the idea of it going down a little frighten you?
That said, I'd be inclined to argue that the 'quality of ingredients' problem is really two problems; one is how to keep good food fresh and healthy between production and consumption (a preservation and distribution problem), and the other is the competition between expensive good food and cheap inferior food (an economic problem).
The first problem is a big deal; fresh food, in the most natural and healthy forms, doesn't have much shelf life... so to continue to feed a growing population, all kinds of preservation tricks were thought up. This is a millennia-old problem; and it's seriously a matter of life-and-death, since failing to use proper preservation and transportation techniques mean that whenever anything happens to the food supply, lots of people die; this is called 'famine'. It's not as much of a problem these days, thanks to preservatives; we can leave processed food in cans and bags on shelves for years, then ship it to the other side of the world when it's needed. Less healthy, sure, but starvation is MUCH less healthy.
The second problem is the result of the practical consequences of solving the first. Preservatives and such make it easy to have cheap food available, and easy to sell it. Quality ingredients don't retain their quality for long; they rot. Yes, you can sell them for more when fresh... but only if you can sell them quickly. To call it 'greed' that corporations prefer to sell inferior, mass-market, preservative-laden food is to ignore the bigger picture; it's not feasible for seven billion people to get their food fresh from the farms, regardless of whatever companies stand between producer and consumer. The current population of the world is unsustainable without modern methods of preservation and distribution.
You, individually, may or may not be in a position to choose better. Many people are too poor to choose otherwise; these people are among those who would die of starvation in the absence of the modern system. Those who can, may not choose to go to the effort regardless; they weigh other factors above their health, and make their purchasing decisions accordingly. Don't judge them too harshly; it's likely that you, too, have economic priorities higher than your own health. The economic state we are in now results from the decisions everyone makes, yes... but that doesn't mean that it's something that anyone or everyone could change. Population continues to increase. The modern system of preservation and distribution is part of the larger system that keeps them alive. There's only so much that can be done to increase productivity of land, so expect to see even more artificial chemicals and such in food as time goes on, not less. This will, of course, have negative local consequences. But life expectancy, on the whole, will continue to increase with population. This is called progress.

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296929)

We don't need corn in which every cell is engineered to produce toxic insecticides. We go way beyond simply preserving food. GMOs aren't designed to improve food quality, they're designed to kill things, look pretty, and make their parent companies money.

-a guy without a /. account

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298711)

"Toxic"? Jesus, you love your hippie buzzwords. Insecticide is meant to be toxic - to insects. Has anyone died from this fantasy corn of yours? Or is it the new cause de jour of autism?

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42301233)

Agent Orange was meant to kill plants. Guess what else it did? Guess what company was responsible for making it? The effects aren't always as advertised.

I haven't heard of anyone dying from GMO corn, but people have died from eating GMO crops: look up Pioneer Hi-Bred soybeans.

Do people really need to die before you consider something to be harmful? The fact is that with GMO, we do not know the effects, and it could easily be decades before they become apparent. Biology is complicated shit, and changes introduced by GMO are not examined with an eye towards the unknown. We are like Marie Curie playing with glow-in-the-dark isotopes, only in our case there are hundreds of millions of us.

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296289)

And how many times do you see people buy the cheapest and crappiest food and put IMO their $50,000 SUV?

Lots of healthy food available. People choose not to buy it

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (1)

Artifakt (700173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298949)

Yeah, you're right, it's all 'choice'.
People who have $50,000 SUVs are the top 10% of income earners or better. You say "how many times do you see...". Are you arguing that we wouldn't see the lower 90%, (or the lowest 30% or whatever), who simply don't have the option to pay as much for food, buying the same cheap crappy food in similar or worse proportions? What's your claim here? That if I could see what's really going on, I would see the wealthiest people choosing poorly, but wouldn't see the poor people having no choice? Or are you actually claiming that the poor make better choices than the rich? You're using anecdotes as data, appparently to turn 'some of the wealthiest make poor choices' into both 'everybody makes poor choices' and 'everybody has the same choices as the wealthy'.

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42299889)

Problem is for most products the situation is usually as follows:

Cheap house brand, unhealthy
Expensive AA brand, also unhealthy
Incredibly Expensive biological/healthy brand, with questionable healthiness, and less tasty to boot.

Take meat. You can choose several regular kinds of meat or the biological/vegetarian one. The vegetarian one tastes like crap. With the biological one there is no way to guarantee the chicken/pigs/cows actually have a significantly better life than their normal meat brethren.

Add to that the fact that most certification marks aren't even worth the plastic they are printed on and you might see why most people don't give a shit.

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (5, Insightful)

Paracelcus (151056) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297067)

Not like "the good old days" when we all ate organic food and lived to the ripe old age of forty!

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (1)

gijoel (628142) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297815)

Oh man, I wish I had mod points.

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (3, Insightful)

ppanon (16583) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299749)

That average life expectancy was heavily pulled down by high infant mortality, lack of antibiotics to treat nasty bacterial infections like pneumonia, and agrarian lifestyles that were both harder on the body than modern white collar work and more dangerous (scythes, angry/in-pain animals, predators, sun exposure, etc.) . If you control for those differences, what do you get? Well, we don't know because they didn't realize 250 years ago that we would find useful background histories to supplement what little mortality/morbidity statistics they did collect.

"Threescore and ten" (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about a year and a half ago | (#42301415)

Was the number in Biblical times.

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298305)

So.....all I need is good nutrition and I'll live forever? Is that your point?

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (2)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298701)

"Unnatural", "processed" - you know these are bullshit terms right?

Organic food is unhealthier. Plenty of natural things are poison. And plenty of unprocessed things would be impossible to digest.

Heating milk doesn't "cause auto-immune disease". I've drunk plenty of heated dairy products - no auto-immune disease. It doesn't even increase the risk! I hate that evil arseholes like you always pick on auto-immune disease to blame your pet hate for causing. But I know you do it because we don't know much about the triggers of AI conditions.

Re:Not too much food. Too much BAD food. (1)

VoidCrow (836595) | about a year and a half ago | (#42301425)

It strikes me that widespread use of antivirals and antibiotics to treat obvious conditions will tend to favour the evolution of pathogens with unobvious results.

It's not difficult to imagine pathogens that are very hard to culture or otherwise detect which nevertheless cause immune flare-ups.

Evolution happens quite quickly at the microscopic level. Even at the small arthropod scale, I've seen big changes in insecticide resistance since I was a child. Fly sprays would kill flies with impressive effect when I was young, yet I now have a big can of permethrin insecticide that I've used once or twice and then given up on because it just doesn't work. Malathion-based nit solutions used to work. Now, they do not.

The generation time at the microscopic scale is a lot shorter.

Too much food isn't the problem (1)

judoguy (534886) | about a year and a half ago | (#42295893)

Too much crappy food, e.g., sugar and carbs (whole grains also). Too little fat. Substituting carbs for fat is killing more people than Stalin. (A turn of phrase, don't be so literal)

Re:Too much food isn't the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42298671)

Too much crappy food, e.g., sugar and carbs (whole grains also).
Too little fat. Substituting carbs for fat is killing more people than Stalin. (A turn of phrase, don't be so literal)

I have little pity for the ignorant and stupid. Thinning of the herds to eliminate the weak exists in every other species. Don't see why we need to be an exception.

Re:Too much food isn't the problem (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299769)

We are an exception in some sense, by how we work together. An education is an important part of our strengths, passing on knowledge gathered by many individuals, across the generations. I'd rather people learned from the mistakes of others, than die from their own.

Re:Too much food isn't the problem (1)

jwilcox154 (469038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42301703)

I agree with one point, too much crappy food is the problem. People are getting too much of certain types of fatty acids (saturated and trans-fatty) while not getting enough of others (poly and monounsaturated) . Plus people are getting too many of the wrong carbs. How many people have enough soluble fiber in their diet? How many people have enough insoluble fiber in their diet? Whole grains are not necessarily the problem. Oats have a great number of nutrients. One such benefit is soluble fiber. Oats also contain the amino acids phenylalanine and tryptophan. The problem comes with all of the sweeteners being added to the oatmeal. Is the oat the only source of these nutrients? No they are not. The key to getting as many of the proper nutrients as possible is balance and of course trying to balance a diet is too much work for quite a few people. They would rather consume to what some corporation or some conspiracy theorist tell them to while not using critical thinking skills to decide on their own.

Sources :
http://www.livestrong.com/article/73628-foods-increase-norepinephrine-production/ [livestrong.com]
http://www.livestrong.com/article/323157-foods-that-increase-dopamine-and-norepinephrine/ [livestrong.com]
http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/what-eat-deep-sleep?page=3 [doctoroz.com]

pandemic (2)

merxete (1965396) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296179)

There are unhealthy lives and unhealthy genes. I'm not too worried about the lifestyles, as long as they're not reproducing. In the event where there are unhealthy genes being passed on, I feel like a good old fashion epidemic will re-balance the tables at some point.

Or alternatively, we can start a new religion that doesn't tolerate unhealthy lifestyles, and at the same time pass more liberal gun ownership laws (meaning all people get guns), and at the same time invest in larger prison systems to hold the new wave of murderers... you know, there are many ways to deal with this "problem". It will sort itself out.

Of course in the meantime, there's that pesky rising health-care cost problem. Socialize it? ;) Lol, just kidding. Although, I think we need to incentivize preemptive health care. Private profits and western medicine's obsession with treating the symptom but not the cause is a real problem here.

There is simply No Free Lunch (1)

noahmckinnon (600713) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296187)

You can't cheat Death, etc.

Re:There is simply No Free Lunch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296703)

Please explain that in the context of the Sun converting 4 million tons of matter into energy every second. Life is all about local reversal of entropy. The thin skin of living matter on a tiny ball of matter orbiting a star is not even measurable. We can certainly cheat death, we do so routinely and we will continue to do so.

Confused (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296247)

I remember reading twenty years ago that by now the population would be so big that we couldn't possibly feed everyone, now there is too much food? I also remember hearing that we would be out of oil by now too.

Why is it the "experts" seem to always be wrong?

Re:Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296457)

I remember reading twenty years ago that by now the population would be so big that we couldn't possibly feed everyone, now there is too much food? I also remember hearing that we would be out of oil by now too.

Why is it the "experts" seem to always be wrong?

The wrongness of the experts is an effect of global warming.

Re:Confused (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299085)

I remember reading twenty years ago that by now the population would be so big that we couldn't possibly feed everyone, now there is too much food? I also remember hearing that we would be out of oil by now too.

Why is it the "experts" seem to always be wrong?

The wrongness of the experts is an effect of global warming.

There are answers to all of the problems of this life on the planet. We just don't know what they all are, yet.

Not surprising, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42296797)

Modern medicine keeps us alive. That also means that shitty genes will be carried on instead of dying off with the sick host, meaning more and more shitty genetic material will be around that can only be battled by more modern medicine.

Pumpkin... (1)

epp_b (944299) | about a year and a half ago | (#42296857)

That's modern
medicine. Advances that keep
people alive that should have died
along time ago, back when they
lost what made them people.

Thank you .... (1)

Monoman (8745) | about a year and a half ago | (#42297175)

Captain obvious. No shite!

I'm not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42297337)

Nope, not at all surprised. Now quit messing with the Creation.
~God

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299781)

Is that God talking to the phenomenon that is evolution?

Darwin was right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42297367)

We need to start voluntarily subjecting ourselves to natural selection. And by that I mean living our lives as we will, with much less regard for who survives. Modern medical science is the only reason I personally am not yet dead, but at some point we need to recognize the value of natural selection. And to understand that most attempts at eugenics (i.e. us taking charge of otherwise "natural" selection) have been abysmal failures. Frankly, I want the natural world to be harder on us, and I don't care if I LOSE (so long as I get to play). What I do care about is that, in the system in which we currently meddle, too many losers win. I want the best for the future, whether it's me or not. What I don't want is for pudgy, unimaginative knuckleheads to rule the world. Oh, sorry. I seem to have been too late in voicing my complaints.

Re:Darwin was right. (2)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | about a year and a half ago | (#42299795)

The easiest thing to do, is just stop reproducing. At least stop reproducing at these rates. We don't need for every couple to breed, one in ten could do us just fine for a couple of generations. Yes, there's the problem that the elderly depend on the young, but the biggest problem of all, is how many of us there are. We experience Earth's limited resources as more limited, the faster we consume them.

And I'd much rather see people not be born, than be born and then die a slow and painful death.

Re:Darwin was right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42301477)

Humor me; how can a winner be a loser?

How did our species survive the 90s!? (2)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#42298249)

According to this graph, in 1990, there were 120k deaths per 100k people amongst the 0-6 day age group alone. I could have sworn that there were at least a few children that survived the decade.

That shifting Y axis... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42299405)

is driving me nuts. Graphs are for visualizing. I can't visualize if none of the graphs share axis! I'm left extracting numbers from the graph into notepad.exe, which is harder than if they just gave me a darn table.

Obesity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42300869)

Obesity is a deal problem. Look around you. People sitting around watching TV and playing video games. People eat poorly and do not exercise. Obesity is not a disability. It is a choice for most people. Doctors don't help. Instead of providing handicap parking placards for overweight people, they should be prescribing exercise.

Not PC, but relevant (1)

felixrising (1135205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42301049)

Remove natural selection from a species and watch it's gene pool deteriorate. Which leads to the moral dilema: given in vitro genetic testing, do we have a moral responsibility to test and either abort or rectify genetically borne diseases and problems. And who decides what genetic traits are desirable and what isn't in our offspring?
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