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If no medical assistance and fitness was applied.................

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  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,096 Member Member Posts: 7,096 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    Pretty sure that childhood and maternal mortality in the past is what accounted for most of the lower average life expectancy. Once you were out of childhood (and for women past childbearing I guess) you had a pretty good chance of living to be elderly.
    Well again we're taking into consideration that there was some medical intervention. But what if there wasn't any? A simple infection could easily kill someone off or what if they got the measles or flu with no medical help?
    As amazing as the human body is, we're still pretty susceptible like any other animal to disease and injury. If not for medical intervention, our current population would likely be half of what it is now around the world.

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    Some medical intervention in medieval times????

    Very little and some of what there was did more harm than good.

    I agree with others that if you take out infant/ childhood deaths and maternal childbirth deaths the life expectancy was not that much less than today.
    Less, sure , but not as dramatically less as one might think.
    Well that's not what stats are saying.

    https://www.verywellhealth.com/longevity-throughout-history-2224054#:~:text=of Bubonic Plague-,From the 1800s to Today,and 40 years of age.&text=Though it's hard to imagine,surgery in the mid-1800s.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2885717/


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    Your article doesn't dispute what I said.

    It says life expectancy from birth was 30 to 40 years.

    But the thing is that statistic is heavily skewed by childhood deaths and in the case of women,childbirth deaths.

    Doesn't dispute what I said - if you take those deaths out of the equation, life expectancy was not that much less than today.

    Less, sure - but not 50 years less.

    Your article does not say otherwise.

    I suppose I should remind myself of the original premise, but I wouldn't take childhood deaths or even many childbirth deaths out of the equation, personally, as they relate to diseases we can now cure or vaccinate against and conditions that can be treated by medical assistance/antibiotics.

    Adults are less susceptible to such illnesses on average, which would be why the effect would be less once you start with adults (especially adults who are better off, for whom we have the best information, and who were innately healthy enough to survive childhood), but even that is going to depend on the specific time. Plague obviously killed a huge number of adults when active (although it's hard to figure out precisely how many), and same with other recurring illnesses. Also various crop failures and general malnutrition (which was more of an issue with the groups we can't measure as well due to fewer historical records).
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,517 Member Member Posts: 6,517 Member
    Lots of what we would call non scientific practices too - or non evidence based practices.

    ETA in response to alisdairs mom.
    edited March 13
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,517 Member Member Posts: 6,517 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    33gail33 wrote: »
    Pretty sure that childhood and maternal mortality in the past is what accounted for most of the lower average life expectancy. Once you were out of childhood (and for women past childbearing I guess) you had a pretty good chance of living to be elderly.
    Well again we're taking into consideration that there was some medical intervention. But what if there wasn't any? A simple infection could easily kill someone off or what if they got the measles or flu with no medical help?
    As amazing as the human body is, we're still pretty susceptible like any other animal to disease and injury. If not for medical intervention, our current population would likely be half of what it is now around the world.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
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    Some medical intervention in medieval times????

    Very little and some of what there was did more harm than good.

    I agree with others that if you take out infant/ childhood deaths and maternal childbirth deaths the life expectancy was not that much less than today.
    Less, sure , but not as dramatically less as one might think.
    Well that's not what stats are saying.

    https://www.verywellhealth.com/longevity-throughout-history-2224054#:~:text=of Bubonic Plague-,From the 1800s to Today,and 40 years of age.&text=Though it's hard to imagine,surgery in the mid-1800s.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2885717/


    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
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    Your article doesn't dispute what I said.

    It says life expectancy from birth was 30 to 40 years.

    But the thing is that statistic is heavily skewed by childhood deaths and in the case of women,childbirth deaths.

    Doesn't dispute what I said - if you take those deaths out of the equation, life expectancy was not that much less than today.

    Less, sure - but not 50 years less.

    Your article does not say otherwise.

    I suppose I should remind myself of the original premise, but I wouldn't take childhood deaths or even many childbirth deaths out of the equation, personally, as they relate to diseases we can now cure or vaccinate against and conditions that can be treated by medical assistance/antibiotics.

    Adults are less susceptible to such illnesses on average, which would be why the effect would be less once you start with adults (especially adults who are better off, for whom we have the best information, and who were innately healthy enough to survive childhood), but even that is going to depend on the specific time. Plague obviously killed a huge number of adults when active (although it's hard to figure out precisely how many), and same with other recurring illnesses. Also various crop failures and general malnutrition (which was more of an issue with the groups we can't measure as well due to fewer historical records).


    well yes those things happened - plague, malnutrition from crop failures etc - and yes of course many of the childhood deaths related to now preventable or treatable diseases.

    Not disputing that at all.

    Nevertheless the simple statistic of life expectancy being 30 - 40 years counting from birth, is heavily skewed by huge number of infant and childhood deaths.

    If one reached about 10, one had not that less a life expenctancy to now -certainly not 40 years less.

    Because as you say " Adults are less susceptible to such illnesses on average, which would be why the effect would be less once you start with adults"

    Not even adults - start with 10 year olds. Possibly even 5 year olds - most infant/childhood deaths occurred before age 5

    and the biggest cause of death for women aged between 15 and 40 would be childbirth deaths.






  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 267 Member Member, Premium Posts: 267 Member
    So now that I got all that out, I will also concede that of course the time period had its grifters, snake oil peddlers, and desperate gullible people who will latch onto anything.

    But we got plenty of 'em now, too. ;)
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,096 Member Member Posts: 7,096 Member
    Nevertheless the simple statistic of life expectancy being 30 - 40 years counting from birth, is heavily skewed by huge number of infant and childhood deaths.

    Yes, I agree. Just saying if doing a comparison based on the significance of medical advances, I certainly would not ignore the childhood deaths.

    Also, although 30-40 is skewed greatly by infant/child deaths, most of the good comparison information we have are from selected periods and tend to relate more to better off people (who are better documented). There's a lot of uncertainty. I'd be willing to say the true number is not 30-40 (once someone is an adult) or anywhere near that number, but also that we can't say how close it is to current life expectancy for the population as a whole and that it was less. But again I think it's important to include ALL deaths from illnesses that we have eradicated or can cure to do an accurate, meaningful comparison, and that would include lots of childbirth deaths and childhood deaths.

    There were also more deaths due to violence and to some extent that we can heal injuries now in a way we could not historically (there were huge medical advances that occurred as a result of the American Civil War related to treating injuries and some other conditions, and even in the past 30 or so years more advances, which I've seen discussed in connection with shooting vs homicide rates where I live, sadly).
    edited March 13
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 23,743 Member Member Posts: 23,743 Member
    Theo166 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    What about vaccines for diseases? Or antibiotics for infections? Or surgery because of accidents?
    Most antibiotics reduce the intensity or duration of an infection which is different than saving a life. For example, treating acne is a major reason to take it (impacts quality of life, not duration). I've never taken it to save my life

    I once got a nasty infection while working on a lobster boat. Antibiotics may not have saved my life, but I imagine I could have lost that finger or hand.

    I'm sure the antibiotics I took for a brown recluse spider bite did save my life.
  • ythannahythannah Member Posts: 3,661 Member Member Posts: 3,661 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Theo166 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    What about vaccines for diseases? Or antibiotics for infections? Or surgery because of accidents?
    Most antibiotics reduce the intensity or duration of an infection which is different than saving a life. For example, treating acne is a major reason to take it (impacts quality of life, not duration). I've never taken it to save my life.
    And yet before antibiotics, people died from infections that are common now, but with the advent saves lives. Bacterial meningitis killed. As well as whooping cough for kids. Tuberculosis, pneumonia and even strep throat was fatal for many. You do realize that antibiotics are one of the biggest medical advances in history? And it was because they could save lives.


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    People died of syphilis before the advent of antibiotics.
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,517 Member Member Posts: 6,517 Member
    Yes, I agree. Just saying if doing a comparison based on the significance of medical advances, I certainly would not ignore the childhood deaths.

    No I certainly would not either - since the majority of the advances saved childhood lives - vaccines (my favourite subject) in particular.

    I was by no means suggesting doing that but simply saying ,no more no less - that the statistic of life expectancy of only 30 - 40 years needs to be seen as a from birth statistic heavily skewed by huge infant and child mortality.
    Once one reaches 5, ones life expectancy, especially if one does not die in childbirth, was not 40 years less than it is today.

  • AvidkeoAvidkeo Member, Premium Posts: 2,816 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,816 Member
    Theo166 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    What about vaccines for diseases? Or antibiotics for infections? Or surgery because of accidents?
    Most antibiotics reduce the intensity or duration of an infection which is different than saving a life. For example, treating acne is a major reason to take it (impacts quality of life, not duration). I've never taken it to save my life
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    What about vaccines for diseases? Or antibiotics for infections? Or surgery because of accidents? Or treatments for cancer or poisoning?
    Majority would mean that the majority of people go to hospitals for what you mentioned when most are in there because they are sick, injured or need medical attention.

    If you are saying zero medical intervention, probably the life of women would be noticeable shortened due to increased death from child birth.

    For reference, the most common OR procedures are:
    1. cesarean section (saves some lives though many would go fine with natural birth)
    2. circumcision (no impact to length of life)
    3. Arthrosplasty knee (quality of life, not length)
    4. Hip replacement (quality of life, not length)
    5. Spinal fusion (quality of life, not length)
    6. Coronary angioplasty (does extend length of life)

    Poisoning is very rare in our modern world and very few people per capita go to hospital for life saving surgery following an accident.

    Wow l. Just. Wow.

    I work in a hospital. Antibiotics SAVES lives, asks anyone who had sepsis.

    Angioplasty saves lives.

    Also I'd argue quality of life extends life. People who are in chronic pain die earlier. They literally give up on life.

    Your arguments are without knowledge or basis in reality.
  • nooshi713nooshi713 Member Posts: 4,394 Member Member Posts: 4,394 Member
    Avidkeo wrote: »
    Theo166 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    What about vaccines for diseases? Or antibiotics for infections? Or surgery because of accidents?
    Most antibiotics reduce the intensity or duration of an infection which is different than saving a life. For example, treating acne is a major reason to take it (impacts quality of life, not duration). I've never taken it to save my life
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    What about vaccines for diseases? Or antibiotics for infections? Or surgery because of accidents? Or treatments for cancer or poisoning?
    Majority would mean that the majority of people go to hospitals for what you mentioned when most are in there because they are sick, injured or need medical attention.

    If you are saying zero medical intervention, probably the life of women would be noticeable shortened due to increased death from child birth.

    For reference, the most common OR procedures are:
    1. cesarean section (saves some lives though many would go fine with natural birth)
    2. circumcision (no impact to length of life)
    3. Arthrosplasty knee (quality of life, not length)
    4. Hip replacement (quality of life, not length)
    5. Spinal fusion (quality of life, not length)
    6. Coronary angioplasty (does extend length of life)

    Poisoning is very rare in our modern world and very few people per capita go to hospital for life saving surgery following an accident.

    Wow l. Just. Wow.

    I work in a hospital. Antibiotics SAVES lives, asks anyone who had sepsis.

    Angioplasty saves lives.

    Also I'd argue quality of life extends life. People who are in chronic pain die earlier. They literally give up on life.

    Your arguments are without knowledge or basis in reality.

    Agreed! I work in a sepsis center and see this every day!
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,499 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,499 Member
    This observation is going to be a little bit out there, but I think some of you may understand what I'm trying to say.

    In some threads like this about the sweep of history, I feel like some people are like fish who are unaware that there's water, while others are aware of the water, but can't even begin to clearly imagine how other creatures can live without water enveloping them.

    Whenever we grow up, live, we tend to take a lot of things for granted, not really even realize how different circumstances change things, yet how humans now and in different times are similar in the ways we react to our circumstances. (I'm not excepting myself. Over the years, I've made a lot of assumptions about my parents' and other eras, that I now know were inaccurate. I'm *sure* it hasn't all sunk in; I learn more all the time, including in this thread.)

    So much has changed, even in my lifetime, medically: As just one example, exploratory surgery used to be moderately common in my youth (1960s), when people had extreme symptoms (often it turned out to be a cancer diagnostic); now, that's almost entirely replaced by CT scans, MRIs, that sort of thing. A consequence is earlier diagnosis of many conditions (you don't do exploratory surgery until symptoms are pretty dire!), and I'm sure that has implications for lifespan, without even considering the mortality risk of anesthesia or infection in the "exploratory surgery" scenario. (Anesthesia safety has improved, too, I suspect.)

    Some effects won't show up in overall population mortality statistics, because some earlier-mortality causes are reduced (like cancer diagnosis and survivability, especially childhood cancers having a statistical effect), while others are increased (consequences of obesity, or opioid overdoses, say). It's so multi-factorial, so interwoven and complicated.

    In my social circle, it's more common for across-the-board vaccine opponents to be younger than me (I'm 65 b. 1955), and for people my age to be willing to at least consider vaccinations (certainly for the childhood illnesses for which vaccinations have been widely available since 1960s/70s, maybe less true for the fast-developed Covid vax). People my age are kind of at the trailing edge of those who vividly remember the giant iron-long wards for polio patients and post-polio crippling, people (especially children) dying from things like measles or tetanus, etc. To younger people, the horror is not vivid, more theoretical. The risk doesn't seem real to them, I think. One young acquaintance became a crusading anti-vaccine advocate when her child had a reaction (couple of days of flu-y stuff, swelling at the site, fatigue, fever, headache) after a vaccination. Her mom, with a clear memory of deaths and crippling, was pretty horrified. People base perceptions and decisions more on what they've personally seen and experienced, vs. even pretty clear historical data.
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,517 Member Member Posts: 6,517 Member
    ANN, yes!!

    You have possibly heard the saying 'Vaccination is a victim of its own success' meaning exactly what you said - some people are more concerned about minor side effects like little bit of redness and swelling, than they are about the vaccine preventable disease itself.

    And then you get the completely debunked notion of autism and MMR - in parts of UK this led to massive under vaccinating followed by - surprise surprise! - outbreaks of measles, including at least 1 death.

    Needless to say people suddenly decided to get their children vaccinated after all - as you do when faced with the actual disease. :*
  • Slacker16Slacker16 Member Posts: 1,163 Member Member Posts: 1,163 Member
    (...) But that once out of childhood and removing accident/severe injury people still lived about as long as they do today (70-80, with some outliers), which makes sense to me.
    Not quite as old. Don't have time to track down a source atm but, before modern medicine, the life expectancy if you survived to adulthood would have been in the 60s (varied by period and place). But yeah, there was never anything unusual about someone living into his 80s.

    It wasn't an uninterrupted upward trend, btw. Health markers declined sharply in the early days of the industrial revolution, for instance.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 267 Member Member, Premium Posts: 267 Member
    Slacker16 wrote: »
    (...) But that once out of childhood and removing accident/severe injury people still lived about as long as they do today (70-80, with some outliers), which makes sense to me.
    Not quite as old. Don't have time to track down a source atm but, before modern medicine, the life expectancy if you survived to adulthood would have been in the 60s (varied by period and place). But yeah, there was never anything unusual about someone living into his 80s.

    It wasn't an uninterrupted upward trend, btw. Health markers declined sharply in the early days of the industrial revolution, for instance.

    Accidents play a big role here in lowering the average, too. Some have been prevented due to safety technology and regulation, and some have been made less deadly or easier to treat (especially since we know to avoid infection). But I think accidents still rank pretty highly as cause of death, especially for men. :(

    Re: polio, I read a news story a couple of years ago about the few people still alive who use iron lungs today. It's very hard to get parts now because they're no longer widely used and the ingenuity used to keep them going was pretty amazing. Every now and then I wonder if those people are still alive and how they're doing. Iron lungs really were a very impressive technology.

    My IRL social circles are full of vaccine skeptics. I am not one. As far as I'm concerned, they're probably the greatest medical innovation ever. I'm skeptical of some other practices in contemporary medicine, I like to think with good reason, but vaccines have never been one of those things (I do have concerns sometimes about the ethics of testing and manufacturing, but I regard that as separate from concern about the technology itself). I am young enough to not have personally experienced or seen the effects of those diseases, but I've read enough history and that's enough to persuade me.
    edited March 15
  • Theo166Theo166 Member, Premium Posts: 2,496 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,496 Member
    nooshi713 wrote: »
    Theo166 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    What about vaccines for diseases? Or antibiotics for infections? Or surgery because of accidents?
    Most antibiotics reduce the intensity or duration of an infection which is different than saving a life. For example, treating acne is a major reason to take it (impacts quality of life, not duration). I've never taken it to save my life
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    What about vaccines for diseases? Or antibiotics for infections? Or surgery because of accidents? Or treatments for cancer or poisoning?
    Majority would mean that the majority of people go to hospitals for what you mentioned when most are in there because they are sick, injured or need medical attention.

    If you are saying zero medical intervention, probably the life of women would be noticeable shortened due to increased death from child birth.

    For reference, the most common OR procedures are:
    1. cesarean section (saves some lives though many would go fine with natural birth)
    2. circumcision (no impact to length of life)
    3. Arthrosplasty knee (quality of life, not length)
    4. Hip replacement (quality of life, not length)
    5. Spinal fusion (quality of life, not length)
    6. Coronary angioplasty (does extend length of life)

    Poisoning is very rare in our modern world and very few people per capita go to hospital for life saving surgery following an accident.

    I have to disagree about your stance on antibiotics. They save lives, and regularly. I say that as an ER PA. My hospital is a sepsis center. What may start as a small infection, UTI, for example, or foot would can quickly become life threatening if not treated. Even with antibiotics available, many patients come in and die from life threatening bacterial infections.

    I never said they don't save lives. My point was that most uses of antibiotics were not in a save life situation. If they were gone, the average life expectance would be reduced, but not as much as some people here are implying. Clean water and a stable/safe food supply have done far more to extend our life span.

    My departed uncle (an MD) talked about how the local doctor practiced when he was a child, this was pre- WW1. The guy would nail chicken gizzards on the barn door and wash his hands in a puddle before a home birth. We've come a long way the past 100yrs just by implementing good hygiene practices that combat germs rather than spread them.
    edited March 16
  • nooshi713nooshi713 Member Posts: 4,394 Member Member Posts: 4,394 Member
    Theo166 wrote: »
    nooshi713 wrote: »
    Theo166 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    What about vaccines for diseases? Or antibiotics for infections? Or surgery because of accidents?
    Most antibiotics reduce the intensity or duration of an infection which is different than saving a life. For example, treating acne is a major reason to take it (impacts quality of life, not duration). I've never taken it to save my life
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    What about vaccines for diseases? Or antibiotics for infections? Or surgery because of accidents? Or treatments for cancer or poisoning?
    Majority would mean that the majority of people go to hospitals for what you mentioned when most are in there because they are sick, injured or need medical attention.

    If you are saying zero medical intervention, probably the life of women would be noticeable shortened due to increased death from child birth.

    For reference, the most common OR procedures are:
    1. cesarean section (saves some lives though many would go fine with natural birth)
    2. circumcision (no impact to length of life)
    3. Arthrosplasty knee (quality of life, not length)
    4. Hip replacement (quality of life, not length)
    5. Spinal fusion (quality of life, not length)
    6. Coronary angioplasty (does extend length of life)

    Poisoning is very rare in our modern world and very few people per capita go to hospital for life saving surgery following an accident.

    I have to disagree about your stance on antibiotics. They save lives, and regularly. I say that as an ER PA. My hospital is a sepsis center. What may start as a small infection, UTI, for example, or foot would can quickly become life threatening if not treated. Even with antibiotics available, many patients come in and die from life threatening bacterial infections.

    I never said they don't save lives. My point was that most uses of antibiotics were not in a save life situation. If they were gone, the average life expectance would be reduced, but not as much as some people here are implying. Clean water and a stable/safe food supply have done far more to extend our life span.

    My departed uncle (an MD) talked about how the local doctor practiced when he was a child, this was pre- WW1. The guy would nail chicken gizzards on the barn door and wash his hands in a puddle before a home birth. We've come a long way the past 100yrs just by implementing good hygiene practices that combat germs rather than spread them.

    I definitely agree that clean water and better hygiene practices play a role too.

    Yes, antibiotics are overused a lot for viruses. Lots of people come into the ER or primary clinic or urgent care wanting an antibiotic for their viral infections and if you tell them no and explain why, some understand, but others just get upset and say you didn’t do anything for them. Overuse is part of why we have resistant bacteria.

    Everyone wants a quick fix. That is our culture.

    However, antibiotics have played a big role in saving lives too. They save lives on the regular.
  • Theo166Theo166 Member, Premium Posts: 2,496 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,496 Member
    Revisiting the OP, here is an article on preventable death - https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0501-preventable-deaths.html
    I believe it implies universally improved physical health could take a big chunk out of these deaths due to heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, etc. In addition to being at a healthy weight, I'm including exercise, not smoking, and moderate alcohol use.
    p0501-preventable-deathsB.jpg
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,722 Member Member Posts: 1,722 Member
    Theo166 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    What about vaccines for diseases? Or antibiotics for infections? Or surgery because of accidents?
    Most antibiotics reduce the intensity or duration of an infection which is different than saving a life. For example, treating acne is a major reason to take it (impacts quality of life, not duration). I've never taken it to save my life
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    What about vaccines for diseases? Or antibiotics for infections? Or surgery because of accidents? Or treatments for cancer or poisoning?
    Majority would mean that the majority of people go to hospitals for what you mentioned when most are in there because they are sick, injured or need medical attention.

    If you are saying zero medical intervention, probably the life of women would be noticeable shortened due to increased death from child birth.

    For reference, the most common OR procedures are:
    1. cesarean section (saves some lives though many would go fine with natural birth)
    2. circumcision (no impact to length of life)
    3. Arthrosplasty knee (quality of life, not length)
    4. Hip replacement (quality of life, not length)
    5. Spinal fusion (quality of life, not length)
    6. Coronary angioplasty (does extend length of life)

    Poisoning is very rare in our modern world and very few people per capita go to hospital for life saving surgery following an accident.

    Except that if the intensity and/or duration of an infection is reduced, the body is much more able to fight it off, preventing death, i.e., saving a life.
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 44,775 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 44,775 Member
    Theo166 wrote: »
    Revisiting the OP, here is an article on preventable death - https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0501-preventable-deaths.html
    I believe it implies universally improved physical health could take a big chunk out of these deaths due to heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, etc. In addition to being at a healthy weight, I'm including exercise, not smoking, and moderate alcohol use.
    p0501-preventable-deathsB.jpg
    As I mentioned though, this WASN'T things they were doing before the 1900s. Hence higher death rates at lower ages.


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    edited March 19
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