What kills us, in one chart
(Chart via The New England Journal of Medicine)
Taking the long view, the New England Journal of Medicine looked back over a century to see how the causes of death in America have changed.
As you’ll notice, chronic killers (such as cancer and heart disease) gain prominence, and so do other diseases of aging (Alzheimer’s). As medicine and our understanding of the germ-theory of disease progressed, deaths from infectious agents (tuberculosis and pneumonia) fall away.
But, the authors caution, there’s reason to temper optimism: what kills us will continue to change — and medical advancements may not keep up. “An obesity epidemic, feared in 1912, has come to pass,” they write. The climb in life expectancy stalled around the turn of the millennium — and may even be reversed. If we want to continue to progress, health systems need to adapt to the new reality:
In many respects, our medical systems are best suited to diseases of the past, not those of the present or future. We must continue to adapt health systems and health policy as the burden of disease evolves. But we must also do more. Diseases can never be reduced to molecular pathways, mere technical problems requiring treatments or cures. Disease is a complex domain of human experience, involving explanation, expectation, and meaning. Doctors must acknowledge this complexity and formulate theories, practices, and systems that fully address the breadth and subtlety of disease.
Latest posts by CDFuneralNews (see all)
- Transgender Woman Sues Metro Detroit Funeral Homes After Losing Her Job - October 5, 2017
- Eagle’s Wings Air Partners With Delta, United, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines to Provide Free Transportation to Las Vegas Shooting Victims - October 2, 2017
- Foundation Partners Appoints Christine Hunsaker SVP & COO - October 2, 2017
You may be interested
Take That Step | FUNERAL hustle 013DISRUPT Media - October 5, 2017
We hit Atlantic City for the 2017 New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association Annual Convention. We unveiled a brand new…
Transgender Woman Sues Metro Detroit Funeral Homes After Losing Her JobCDFuneralNews - October 5, 2017
Originally Published on WXYZ Detroit Should someone be fired because they are transgender? A transgender woman has sued the owner of…
How to Leverage the One Statistic Everyone is Ignoring and It’s a Game ChangerRyan Thogmartin - October 4, 2017
As a profession, we are completely undervaluing the need to get attention and immediately provide value back to that consumer. It…