Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."




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Sunday, January 28, 2018

MORBID REFLECTIONS ON MORBIDITY STATISTICS

I was Googling around on this overcast day looking for some statistics to support a post I want to write about immigration when I stumbled on some striking numbers that rather surprised me.  Life expectancy for U. S. white males in 1900 was 47; in 2000 it was 75, a dramatic increase [it is even higher now.]  But the life expectancy for men 84 [that's me] has increased in the past 110 years by only between 4 and 5 years.  Which means that if you were born in 1816 and managed make it to 84 by 1900, your life expectancy was only five or so years less than it is if, like me, you were born in 1933 and are now 84.  In a century, all that high-powered medicine has only added a few more years to those who make it to 84.  The big difference, of course, is in how many of us do in fact make it this far.

By the way, I checked.  Right now, my life expectancy is 6.2 years, which means I figure [on average] to live to be 90.  But if I make it to 90, my life expectancy will be [roughly] 4,4 years, so I will have a pretty good chance of making it to 95.  And of course if I make it to 95, odds are I will live almost to 98.

Well, enough of these morbidity speculations.  Later on I will explain what got me started on all of this.

7 comments:

s. wallerstein said...

There are lots of online tests on how long one will live. You can google "how long will I live tests" I have no idea which of the tests is the most accurate.

Obviously, someone who is 84 and is not a smoker nor obese nor addicted to junk food and who walks every day has more chances of making it to 95.

After a certain age (in the mid 90's, I believe), living a health life seems to have little effect, since people then just die of simple old age, whether or not they take vitamins and eat chia seeds.

Jerome Doolittle said...

Thanks for doing the math.
/s/ Jerry Doolittle (aetas: 84)

Howard Berman said...

You should outlive Freud and the Trump Presidency

Michael Froomkin said...

An awful lot of these comparisons are misleading because they are distorted by rampant infant mortality in the past. To get a better idea of head-to-head comparisons, you need to compare the life expectancy of, say, a six-year-old in 1900 to 2000. "In 1900, 30 percent of all deaths in the United States occurred in children less than 5 years of age compared to just 1.4 percent in 1999." (source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK220806/)

Thus, although there have been real gains in the life expectancy of all adults, none of them - young adults or old adults - are as dramatic as the numbers you quote (47 to 75) might make them seem.

Jerry Fresia said...

According to CNN, life expectancy in the US has dropped for the second year in a row.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/21/health/us-life-expectancy-study/index.html

And according to a TED talk which analyzed "blue zones" the key to living longer had to do with a rich set of extended personal relationships. That makes me toast.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Michael Froomkin, you are of course right, although for the purpose that originally set me looking [more anon], it doesn't matter. Jerry, I will make you a deal. If you will keep reading, I will keep posting, and we will both live to be truly ancient.

Jerry Fresia said...

Such a deal!