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European Health Levels Suddenly Collapsed After 2003 and Nobody Is Sure Why

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the glitch-in-the-matrix dept.

Medicine 304

KentuckyFC writes "Europeans are living longer. But since 2003, they've suddenly enjoyed fewer years of healthy life. For example, in Italy between 1995 and 2003, life expectancy increased from 75 to 80.1 for men and from 81.8 to 85.3 for women. At the same time, the number of years of healthy life increased from 66.7 to 70.9 for men and from 70 to 74.4 for women. But since 2003, while life expectancy has increased further, the number of years of healthy living has plummeted to about 62 for both sexes. More worrying still is that demographers say the same trend has been repeated right across Europe. Only the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands appear to have escaped. That raises an obvious question: what happened in 2003? One idea is that the weather is to blame. In 2003, Europe experienced an extreme heat wave that led to some 80,000 extra deaths across the region. And the higher temperatures could also have triggered ill health, particularly in older people suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes. That has important implications for governments who have to pay for health costs in Europe. And it raises the possibility that climate change is already having a bigger impact on human health than anyone imagined."

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Facebook (5, Funny)

muftak (636261) | about a year ago | (#45530961)

Facebook

Re:Facebook (4, Funny)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45531051)

Sounds right to me. In fact, Facebook is responsible for most of the world's ill's. Eliminate Zuck and his legion of peons, and we'll end ill health, eliminate hunger, end war, and never have an ingrown toenail again. Sounds good to me.

Alternative Theory (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45530971)

People get sick in the winter. Global warming will shorten winter and the weather less cold, therefore less people will get sick!

See, I can speculate wildly too!

We've had winters for decades, son. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531343)

Millions of years. Actually, billions of them.

So since that hasn't changed much, this "winter season" thingy you're proposing, I suspect it isn't the cause here.

And the heatwaves and deaths of 80,000 people isn't "speculate[ing] wildly" you misanthropic piece of shit.

Try again, sonny.

Are they fatter? (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#45530975)

My guess would be that they are just following America's lead and are becoming fatter.

The article even says:

And yet this increasing lifespan masks a dark secret. Many developed countries are suffering an epidemic of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease thanks to poor diets and sedentary lifestyles. The numbers are such that they must inevitably influence the health of nations as a whole but by how much?

Then the authors go on to blame it on the weather.

Re:Are they fatter? (2, Funny)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | about a year ago | (#45531073)

Maybe it's all the waiting lists for their socialized health care.

/troll

Re:Are they fatter? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531429)

So the socialized health care that's been running for decades has just recently reduced European health outcomes to only 20% better than American?

Re:Are they fatter? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531679)

Communism is a slow poison.

Re:Are they fatter? (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#45531691)

The people born into socialized healthcare are beginning to come to the end of their lifespans.

I don't think that's it but it's an avenue to explore.

Heat wave discouraged exercise? (3, Insightful)

CyberSnyder (8122) | about a year ago | (#45531077)

Screw it. It's too hot to go outside we'll stay inside and eat. I know that most older people that I know start going downhill quickly when they stop moving.

Re:Heat wave discouraged exercise? (4, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#45531299)

Not only older people. When I was young we used to play with Lego in the winter and be outside when it was warm. Many of today's youth just play computer games all day long, on their playstations or what have you and outside on their phones. They only move their thumbs.

Re:Heat wave discouraged exercise? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#45531339)

Not only older people. When I was young we used to play with Lego in the winter and be outside when it was warm. Many of today's youth just play computer games all day long, on their playstations or what have you and outside on their phones. They only move their thumbs.

But they move them really really quickly.

Re:Heat wave discouraged exercise? (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45531569)

to be fair, it's not like lego is super intense. unless Europeans do it differently than americans.

Re:Are they fatter? (5, Funny)

Mr Krinkle (112489) | about a year ago | (#45531117)

We prefer the terms,
"Big boned"
"fluffy"
"horizontally blessed"

Saying we're fat can lessen our mental well being which causes global warming.

Re: Are they fatter? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531149)

There is nothing on which you can't blame climate change.

Burst of the IT-bubble? (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a year ago | (#45531199)

No more fun?

(More seriously maybe economic impacts?)

In Europe old people don't expect... (1)

faragon (789704) | about a year ago | (#45530977)

In Europe old people don't expect the Spanish Inquisition :-)

Re:In Europe old people don't expect... (1)

filmorris (2466940) | about a year ago | (#45531033)

NOBODY EXPECTS THE A-hem. Nobody expects the spanish inquisition! Won't let me post all caps :(

Re:In Europe old people don't expect... (4, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a year ago | (#45531161)

There's no lameness filter for bold!

Re:In Europe old people don't expect... (1)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#45531315)

WOOT!

Do some more studying (4, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a year ago | (#45530991)

Rather than conclude that the heat wave is the culprit, first find some comparative events. Its not like there is a historical shortage of heat waves to use to validate the theory, yet there seems to have been no attempt to do so mentioned.

Re: Do some more studying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531181)

Or we could just compare causes of death and see if particular cause has become more popular.

Re: Do some more studying (2)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#45531333)

Indeed. Drawing conclusions so prematurely is highly unscientific.

Re:Do some more studying (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45531337)

Actually, considering the last decade's average temperatures are basically unprecedented, that might be harder than you claim.

Re:Do some more studying (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531635)

Feel free to read any one of the scientific papers on how the temperatures in Europe were equal to or higher than todays ~1000 years ago.

(And, for that matter, ~2000 and ~3000 years ago as well. You'll know these as the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period and the Bronze Age Warm Period)

http://www.clim-past.net/8/765/2012/cp-8-765-2012.html [clim-past.net]
http://hol.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/10/26/0959683612460791.abstract [sagepub.com]
http://www.wsl.ch/fe/landschaftsdynamik/dendroclimatology/Publikationen/Esper_etal.2012_GPC [www.wsl.ch]

Or just deny the science and, like the article, repeat activist mantras - no matter the factual content.

electonic pollution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531015)

More and more of electronic pollution? Mire wifi usage, more cellphones + more upper gigahertz traffic (G2, G3, G4)?

Re:electonic pollution (2)

somersault (912633) | about a year ago | (#45531205)

We have cellphones and wifi in the UK, and I'm pretty sure they have them in the Netherlands too ;)

Re:electonic pollution (2)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45531583)

it's probably car accidents. since 2003 the car ownership rate has skyrocketed. there was a jump that year due to a change in import/export control laws.

Re:electonic pollution (5, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about a year ago | (#45531353)

More and more of electronic pollution? Mire wifi usage, more cellphones + more upper gigahertz traffic (G2, G3, G4)?

Imbalanced chakras? Cold and squared audio output from transistor amps? The decline of the department store?

Re: electonic pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531543)

The decline of thoreated tungsten in vacuum tubes!

Don't Worry, Be Happy...Live Longer (4, Insightful)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about a year ago | (#45531027)

How about the austerity measures, put into place across Europe. Perhaps the stress countries are coming under is spreading to peoples health to the point were it is a negative response. Happy people live longer and in many EU countries, people are not happy.

Re:Don't Worry, Be Happy...Live Longer (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#45531243)

Yeah, that definitely started in 2003. /s

Re:Don't Worry, Be Happy...Live Longer (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45531369)

Yeah, if we want to inject completely arbitrary politics into it, clearly the U.S. bombing middle eastern countries raises mortality rates in Europe.

Re:Don't Worry, Be Happy...Live Longer (1)

Imazalil (553163) | about a year ago | (#45531745)

Obviously, this is the result of the toxic cloud (all that burned oil + whatever those shell casings are reinforced with) from Iraq War no.1 making it's way over the continent.

Blame Americah/Bush for this one, again. :)

Except No European Country Has Actual Austerity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531325)

Europe has only been practicing "Fake Austerity'" [zerohedge.com]

Real austerity is cutting government spending until it matches receipts. This hasn't been tried outside of the Baltic states.

"We are told that austerity in Europe has failed. The elections in France and Greece, for instance, are supposedly evidence of people’s opposition to severe cuts in spending. However, the growing anti-austerity backlash against Europe ignores one fundamental point: If there is austerity in Europe, in most cases it hasn’t taken the form of massive spending cuts.

"Following years of large spending expansion, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, and Greece—countries widely cited for adopting austerity measures—haven’t significantly reduced spending since 'austerity' supposedly started in 2008."

Austerity hasn't failed in Europe, it's been declared difficult and left untried.

Re:Don't Worry, Be Happy...Live Longer (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a year ago | (#45531389)

Re:Don't Worry, Be Happy...Live Longer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531397)

Calling it "austerity" is a bit of a misnomer. They slightly decreased the rate at which yearly spending was increasing.

It's obvious, isn't it? (5, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year ago | (#45531059)

This has to all be Barak Obama's fault, personally. There is no other possible explanation.

Re:It's obvious, isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531185)

I think you mean George Bush

Re:It's obvious, isn't it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531305)

It's time to stop blaming the Bushes -- and time to start blaming the Georges! We all know that it's all George Washington's fault, you insensitive clod!

Re:It's obvious, isn't it? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45531385)

Someone could mistake that post for serious.

Re:It's obvious, isn't it? (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45531367)

If your Republican, every ill is Barak Obama's fault.
If you're Democrat, every ill is Global Warming's fault.

Re:It's obvious, isn't it? (3, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45531605)

and if your tea party then grammar is optional.

LOL Gorebull Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531067)

Right.....

I'm sure this has nothing to do with socialized medicine and Europeans ramping up their death panels.

Thanks Obama! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531075)

Obamacare will be the death of us all!!!!111!!

GMOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531085)

It's because they banned those healthy, efficient GM foods packed with vitamins like glyphosate.

Other Possible Causes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531091)

1) Television
2) Internet
3) Over eating
4) Public Healthcare

Muslim Immigrants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531121)

Check the demographics and see how much the influx of Muslim immigrants has dragged down the overall average.

Re:Muslim Immigrants (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45531617)

probably the population is getting older as a result so the numbers go down since 2003

Increased immigration... (3, Interesting)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about a year ago | (#45531131)

... of less healthy people, who probably experienced more malnutrition and disease in childhood, might explain it.

More likely it's just a bug in the survey's methodology.

Methodology... (1)

dspeed (2927091) | about a year ago | (#45531521)

There have been a number of 'adjustments; in the healthcare world about what to consider 'good health' et al. This is likely an artifact of this. Particularly when the differential can be identified by national borders.

Sweden case is odd (5, Informative)

amaurea (2900163) | about a year ago | (#45531143)

The article lists Sweden among the countries where the years of health are going down, but when you look at the graph for individual countries, Sweden has a strong positive trend, and does not go down significantly in any year. Is that an error, or have I missed something?

On a side note, the article is confusing "Europe" with "The European Union". They aren't the same thing, especially when making statements like "Only the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands appear to have escaped". They didn't consider Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or any of the eastern european countries, for example. (Also, France is among those considered, and also doesn't seem to be declining).

Finally, the study is based on interview subjects' own perception of their health, and so might be affected by news reporing on health or other psychologial effects. But it is definitely an interesting result they've found.

Re:Sweden case is odd (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531597)

Interesting. I wonder if part of this is "bias" is because we were promised so much in the 21st century. People are saying that are "unhealthy" when in reality they are fine, but far from what has been 'promised' to them in media. Remember, living to 150 doesn't matter if you still start to break down at 30, can barely have sex at 40, and still need to work until you're 130 to be able to survive. These 60 year olds feel like crap because they were expecting to feel like they were 50 at this point in time.

Health deteriorates.. (0)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | about a year ago | (#45531167)

..right as the Iraq war started.

Re:Health deteriorates.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531307)

It was the excessive hand-wringing that shortened their lifespans.

re-runs of us brotheruns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531197)

bi-centurial culling

some still calling this 'weather'? http://www.globalresearch.ca/weather-warfare-beware-the-us-military-s-experiments-with-climatic-warfare/7561

should be a movie about us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqUvhDG7x2E

no mention of freeing the innocent stem cells yet?

beware falling gargoyles living spirit based creation remains undefeated since/until forever using planet population rescue initiatives... wink of an eye policies no personal gain motives.... no wonder it lasts so long....... see also; norman greenbaum

Entirely predictable... (1)

quonsar (61695) | about a year ago | (#45531207)

Chernobyl kicking in.

Re:Entirely predictable... (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45531631)

and fukushima, 5 years premonition

The Euro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531217)

The Euro was launched in 1995, and became the sole currency in 2002 for a large chunk of the affected countries.

I Have long suspected... (2)

Dripdry (1062282) | about a year ago | (#45531219)

This has been posted on here before, so I'm kind of just karma whoring, but I have long suspected, and explained to others, that this idea that we can all work until we're 70 or 75 because we'll live to 100 for this generation is bullshit, a scam to keep us grinding along and working until we drop dead. I say that with all the technological advances we've made in the last 50 years we may have less of an idea of what much of it does to the body than we think. it might not be making for a good quality of life at advanced age.
We may be living longer, but what I feel I am seeing in older people is that some of them are quite unhappy with how they feel. Then again, others say anything is better than being dead.
Thoughts?
Whew, is it hot in here or is it just me?

Re:I Have long suspected... (1)

jmd (14060) | about a year ago | (#45531319)

I certainly hope my later years are not in a wheelchair or other restrictive lifestyle. My lifestyle has been active all of my life. This reminds me of Hunter S Thompson's line:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

Re:I Have long suspected... (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#45531513)

Unfortunately, it's mostly idiots in their 20s that manage that last one. If you're 25 and haven't already started using meth while running from the cops after robbing a bank, it's too late to start down that path.

Re:I Have long suspected... (2)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45531647)

only a drug addict does meth while committing crimes. the rest of us know how to compartmentalize our lives.

Re:I Have long suspected... (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45531639)

actually we all HAVE to work until 75 to pay for the welfare state juggernaut.

chemtrails (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531229)

easy question

Exceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531231)

Another interesting question is why the exceptional countries. I can't say about the UK, but Denmark and the Netherlands have some things in common: Lots of bicycles, relaxed attitude to cannabis, funny language, and low altitude.

Re:Exceptions (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#45531657)

Denmark and the Netherlands have tall people, which offsets the effect of low altitude

what about immigrants? (2)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#45531247)

lots of immigration into europe. and if they eat anything like my russian in laws this explains everything

the russians eat too much carbs. the only people on the planet to eat pasta and bread and potatoes together. and then they wonder why they get diabetes

Re:what about immigrants? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531345)

Hey, you can have my potato spaghetti pizza when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!

Which should be in about ten minutes or so... urrrkkk...

Who is dying? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531253)

What has Europe's immigration levels been over this time period? Has the increase in deaths occurred in immigrants from Africa and Central Asia? If so, the median age of the decedents could be in line with what is typical for their country of original but younger than that of the native European population.

Actually a recent issue? (3, Insightful)

Drethon (1445051) | about a year ago | (#45531257)

Is the cause in 2003 or is it a delayed cause from a decade, two decades or even eighty years ago?

Re: Actually a recent issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531417)

I was also wondering if this is more related to the fact that people born during WW2 were then approaching post middle age. Those people did live through hard times.

Re:Actually a recent issue? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531725)

Yeah, that's it. It was clearly all that evil communist health care they were getting! As everyone knows, socialism itself places a tiny amount of an insidiously-designed poison in your body every time you visit a SOCIALO-DOC(tm) (if he can fit you in his busy schedule of taking jobs from hardworking American health insurance providers), a poison which won't cause any problems in anyone for at least a generation or so down the line, and then WHAMMO! Worse, the poison actually improves health in the population during that time so nobody knows until it's too late! This is the EXACT thing the Republicans have been trying to warn us about, but did we listen? Nooooooo, we didn't!

So, clearly, this was due to evil socialists and their Unamerican activities eighty or so years ago when these degenerate countries broke from Glorious America, just like how it was warned in the Bible. And now they can all suffer and pay the price while we (those of us with obscene amounts of money) LAUGH!

immigrants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531261)

immigrants

Simple... (1)

jmd (14060) | about a year ago | (#45531263)

the disease of Capitalism is setting in. :)

Needs more study obviously (2)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#45531269)

You can't jump to conclusions about the weather. The thing about France is telling. They didn't drop until 2006, and I remember hearing some truly awful things about what the heat did to the elderly there. If I had to guess, I'd say that some change in government policy had something to do with it. UK is not as strongly tied to Europe. Some of these other countries are tied in economic union; but they are still sovereign. Perhaps France was able to provide good retirement benefits just a bit longer. That would be the first place I'd look--the impact of government policies that impact the elderly. If you suddenly have to take an early retirement and aren't getting the same benefits that will impact your lifestyle.

Government policy impact does a better job of explaining discrepancies between countries, the sudden change, and why some are not affected even though they share a similar climate.

Of course my speculation is no better than theirs. The people that are getting paid to do this need to go back and analyze their data some more.

Re:Needs more study obviously (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531515)

I remember hearing some truly awful things about what the heat did to the elderly there.

I remember hearing about hospital staff and long term care staff on vacation during that (so called) heat wave, leaving dehydrated elderly warehoused in sweltering rooms and apartments, windows closed. And it wasn't that hot; very few should die from low 90's.

The heat didn't kill those elderly. Neglect killed them.

But hey, don't let that interfere with the Global Warming narrative.

Re:Needs more study obviously (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about a year ago | (#45531629)

It wasn't just what the _heat_ did to the elderly, but what the _medical system_ allowed to happen to everyone.

The 2003 heat wave killed 13,000 people in France. Hospital corridors became overflowing morgues. Half the doctors were out for their month of vacation time, and the ones that were on the job worked three 12-hour shifts and then stayed home for 4 days. The two groups switched places when the first group's vacation month was over. And they were all just following the laws that required that.

When I speak out against government run health care, this is a major reason why.

Because of skewed priorities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531279)

How about this one: every medical goal is based on keeping people alive longer, not keeping them "healthy" or happy.

C.f. http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/11/26/1511238/why-scott-adams-wished-death-on-his-dad

That doesn't explain any 2003 correlation, but I suspect that attitude is more prevalent now than it used to be, fed in part by increased data analysis, because it's easier to quantify lifespan than happiness.

Maybe the line is moving (4, Insightful)

Another, completely (812244) | about a year ago | (#45531341)

Could this be because it's easier to get diagnosed with diabetes, COPD, or other non-healthy conditions than it was in 2002? I've heard enough anecdotal evidence to make me ask the question, but it would be nice to see a study. How many people who were considered healthy in 2002 could visit a doctor in 2013 and be declared unhealthy, and how does that fraction vary by country? Unless an article can control for that variable, the other numbers don't really mean much.

Check your input (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531361)

Probably it is wrong

SARS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531383)

First case of SARS 2003.

Or maybe it was Mars, making it's closest approach to Earth

Martian SARS!

The great depression? (5, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#45531401)

Could it be related to The Great Depression? Somebody who lived until they were 85, and died between 2003 and 2013 would have been born between 1918 and 1928. Basically, they would have been quite young during the great depression. I wonder if something like this could have big effects so much later in life. It's mostly likely that, or possibly that a lot of them ended up being veterans of the war, as they would have been around 15-25 years old when the second world war was going on. I'm sure there's some very reasonable explanation why this group of people aren't living so many healthy years.

World War 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531413)

Nutrition was bad during World War 2, so people who were fetus/embryo during the war end up with weaker constituent cells resulting in health problems now.

More interesting... (2)

Loopy (41728) | about a year ago | (#45531443)

...is what happened in 2010 to cause the even larger spike upward, and why did it reverse itself.

Food Quality (2)

gbrandt (113294) | about a year ago | (#45531453)

I bet its food quality. The quality of our food has gone down as we try to get more and more off the land. Health care has gotten better though.

So people are staying alive longer but are less healthy.

Badly written and unpublished (3, Insightful)

leehwtsohg (618675) | about a year ago | (#45531457)

This paper is in its infancy. It is somewhat garbled, the methods don't really specify the methods.
The methods are basically "we graphed mortality over time". But you can't really criticize it much,
because it is not published, and probably not submitted yet. The only question is why did it get to slashdot?

The most likely explanation for the effect at this stage is some kind of error. Either in the calculation,
or as the authors point out, in the wording of the questions (which probably would be a good idea to
test before this paper is published ?)
"Standardized translations of the questionnaire have been used; nevertheless it is likely that linguistic or cultural differences, as well as changes in the wording of questions, have influenced the way the respondents indicate a longstanding health problem or disability and their way of communicating the types of restrictions caused by this problem"
Or, in the population measured (migration from East-Block countries?) or many other possible problems.
All these I'd bet much higher chances than a real health effect.

Keep looking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531485)

If you think global warming has anything to do with it, you're fooling yourself.

You might start with GMOs, high fat and sugar diets, pollution, etc. But a 1 degree centigrade warming is not going to do it.

Re:Keep looking (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#45531661)

GMO's? Thought they were banned in the EU.

In fact some scientists are now saying the EU policy toward GMOs is harmful to the overall population quality of crops, agriculture and is leading to more rapid deterioration of the environment in Europe.

http://www.euractiv.com/science-policymaking/chief-eu-scientist-backs-damning-news-530693 [euractiv.com]

Interesting thought anyway.

Eastern Europe joined in 2004 (3, Informative)

goodmanj (234846) | about a year ago | (#45531525)

So what else happened to the European Union after 2003? Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Hungary joined the E.U. in 2004. These countries have huge numbers of elderly people in relatively poor health as a result of mediocre Warsaw Pact health and nutrition. This will obviously lower the overall health of the EU average, but I'm willing to bet a bunch of them migrated to other EU countries and depressed the stats for individual nations.

Don't think I'm arguing against immigration here: the effect is to increase the health of the European continent overall, which is a good thing.

their are importing american meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531533)

their are importing American meat. and drinking American beer.

microwaves (0)

rewindustry (3401253) | about a year ago | (#45531535)

the only big change i can think of - that seems to match the timeframe given - is the proliferation of cellular radio.

there are no tin-foil hats without fire, i say, and i'm not trying to be funny.

2003 - 62 = 1941 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531551)

A correlation to people born during/around world war 2?

"The obvious culprit is the weather" (2)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year ago | (#45531607)

Whatever you do don't put the blame on you blame it on the rain yeah yeah. Cuz the rain don't mind and the rain don't care.

Monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531621)

One word ... Monsanto.

Obviously... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45531717)

...Windows 2003 Server

Eurotrash dbaggery? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#45531719)

Did they choke on their own smug?

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