Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine News Science

People Are Living Longer, With More Disabilities Than Ever 129

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-boredom-does-not-count-as-a-disability dept.
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).
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

People Are Living Longer, With More Disabilities Than Ever

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

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

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

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Saturday December 15, 2012 @12:17AM (#42298677) Journal

      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: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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

        • by mikael (484)

          Those things are well known:

          1. Get sleep between 10am and 2pm as well as whatever feels like a full nights sleep (6 to 8 hours). Having the feeling of being able to doze lightly for an hour or two before actually having to get up.

          2. Have a well ventilated bedroom. I've heard people say how they were amazed they only needed six hours sleep when they stayed in a hotel room with combined air conditioning and filtering as well as blackout curtains (thick curtains that go all the way down to the floor and blocko

  • by RedHat Rocky (94208) on Friday December 14, 2012 @06:51PM (#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?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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."

    • by erice (13380) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:17PM (#42295989) Homepage

      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.

      • by blue trane (110704) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:28PM (#42296219) Homepage Journal

        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.

        • by fredprado (2569351) on Friday December 14, 2012 @09:38PM (#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.
          • by sjames (1099) on Friday December 14, 2012 @11:59PM (#42298551) Homepage

            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.

            • Do not blame the ignorant or malicious misuse of a subject to the subject itself.
              • by sjames (1099)

                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.

                • Abuses are not as rampant as you may think. If everything you see is nonsense, you should question if maybe the nonsensical is you.
                  • by sjames (1099)

                    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.

                    • 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.
                    • by sjames (1099)

                      You seem awfully defensive. Not to mention prejudiced to the status quo.

                    • I am all but that, but you on the other hand seems to be at the end of your almost non existent arguments.
                    • by sjames (1099)

                      The funny thing is, I have presented no argument, only an observation. You have posted only a denial. Did you really imagine this was some sort of deep debate?

                    • You have present only paranoia and self-denial, which can be considered arguments, albeit feebly.
                    • by sjames (1099)

                      No, they could not have been arguments, but if it makes your ego feel a bit healthier, fine. You win the empty exchange of not quite opinions.

                    • You, my friend, seems to be the one with a wounded ego here. To keep arguing in a discussion which, in your opinion, lacks any argument. I suggest you look for professional help. With some therapy you can at least leave behind some of your self-hatred.
                    • by sjames (1099)

                      I'm looking at this as being like a conversation with an argumentative version of Elisa.

                    • Nah! You are just being more erratic, inconsistent and incoherent with each message, but as I said previously, if you look for professional help you can at least improve a bit.
          • WOW!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Evtim (1022085) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @04:59AM (#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....

            • 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 noth
              • by Anonymous Coward

                Bullshit. Medicine doubled the lifespan of humans and technology improved quality of life. Capitalism was only there to make a profit.

                • Medicine and technology developed more in the short period of Capitalism than in all the time before it. They also developed far more in Capitalist countries than in countries with other economic systems. Nothing moves more human beings than greed. I suggest the video bellow. It is quite illustrative:

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo [youtube.com]
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            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.

            • by tepples (727027)
              You're confusing the terms "economics" and "capitalism". Socialism, such as health care in Europe, is one of the topics studied in economics.
        • We didn't invent economics, we discovered it. We don't get to choose what its implications are; we only get to choose what we do with the knowledge. The real "human sacrifice" is in choosing not to know or pursue the optimal solution to minimizing human suffering.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by JackieBrown (987087)

        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: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          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 th

      • by jc42 (318812) on Friday December 14, 2012 @09:45PM (#42297709) Homepage Journal

        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.

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

        • by w_dragon (1802458)
          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.
          • by jc42 (318812)

            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.

            O

        • 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?

        • 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.

          Or you could eat right, exercise, and moderate health-negative behaviors like drinking and tanning, and when the end comes to your long life (barring accidents, etc.) just refuse to live as a medicated invalid and move on.

          Then you don't have to worry about being "kept" anything.

          • by jc42 (318812)

            Or you could eat right, exercise, and moderate health-negative behaviors like drinking and tanning, ...

            My one criticism of this is the extensive evidence that ethanol in "moderate" quantities is very strongly correlated with living longer. The only problem is maintaining the "moderate" level of input.

            The first evidence I read of this was back in the 1970s, when the UK's medical folks did what's now called a "data dredging" study of their medical records to learn what things were correlated with lifespan. One of the strongest signals that they reported was with alcohol. Their summary was that, while dru

        • by exploder (196936)

          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

          • by jc42 (318812)

            Hey, which stock exchange deals in "torch and pitchfork" stocks? Interested potential customers want to know ... ;-)

            Meanwhile, on a more serious train, I didn't take note of the names (or employers) of the people in such interviews. I just found that they were making, uh, "interesting" comments that seemed to agree with predictions from assorted economist types. What was most interesting was that they'd so openly make such comments to known interviewers, despite the obvious danger from people with torc

      • 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

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chewbacon (797801)
        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.
    • by NFN_NLN (633283)

      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?

    • by houghi (78078)

      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 to

  • Well yeah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:00PM (#42295613) Homepage Journal

    People are dying slower.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      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.

  • 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.

  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:02PM (#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...

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      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 p
    • 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.

  • by neminem (561346) <neminem&gmail,com> on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:09PM (#42295821) Homepage

    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?

  • but take note of shifting scales on the Y-axis

    This is so annoying.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:11PM (#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.

    • by alen (225700)

      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

      • by Artifakt (700173)

        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 peopl

      • by Anonymous Coward

        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 t

    • by Paracelcus (151056) on Friday December 14, 2012 @08:32PM (#42297067) Journal

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

    • So.....all I need is good nutrition and I'll live forever? Is that your point?
    • by tbird81 (946205)

      "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 t

      • by VoidCrow (836595)

        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

        • by tbird81 (946205)

          People have been getting autoimmune conditions for long before antibiotics were even conceived of by humans.

          And use of antibiotics favour evolution with fairly obvious results - it selects for resistance to the antibiotic. In fact, we usually know how bacteria do this; They use many different methods, including modifying their own proteins, pumping out the antibiotic, 'digesting' the antibiotic.

          I'm sure their are pathogens that trigger autoimmune disease, but antibiotics don't have anything to do with that.

  • 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 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. Oat

  • 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 th

  • You can't cheat Death, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    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?

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

  • Captain obvious. No shite!

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday December 14, 2012 @11:06PM (#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.

    • 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.

      120k deaths per 100k people? How's that work?

  • 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?
    • These are difficult questions, but ones I think we must face. People call it "playing God" when we tinker with genes, but are we not already playing God every time modern medicine saves a life, or modern agriculture feeds the hungry? By all rights of nature, a significant percentage of our population shouldn't be here. I include myself in that; I'm so nearsighted that I wouldn't last a day in the jungle. And I'm going to pass my defective genes to my offspring. Sooner or later, we're going to have to d
    • Not PC and not relevant either.

      Society is also a genetic construct that has (co-)evolved. If the current shape of society results in a poorer survival rate for people, then either people will die out or people in a different form of society will eventually become more numerous. In any case, we won't know the evolutionary effect of a change in societal behaviour for many generations, so it's probably better to optimise for present well-being rather than contemplate sacrificing (other) people for a hypothetic

The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on weather forecasters. -- Jean-Paul Kauffmann

Working...