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U.S. Records Drastic Decline In Death Rate

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Posted by David Veksler...

While the media obsesses with the doomsday scenario of the month, the advance of industrial civilization continues to increase our life expectancy: "In what appears to be an amazing success for American medicine, preliminary government figures released Wednesday showed that the annual number of deaths in the U.S. dropped by nearly 50,000 in 2004 -- the biggest decline in nearly 70 years"

While it is commonly believed that the increase is due to improvements in medicine, Don Boudreaux comments on a new book which theorizies that is has much more to do with economic growth:

Fogel extends Thomas McKeown's thesis that the increase in life-expectancy during the past 200 years is much more the result of economic growth and improved nutrition than the result of improvements in medicine and public health.

"Inventing a Wellsian time machine to take us all back to eighteenth-century England would be as good for our health as transporting us to the moon without spacesuits. Our bodies are simply too large to survive on the average food supplies then available."

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