Human Life Span
How has the human life span increased over
the years and why?
There are a wide variety of opinions on this...I'll give mine
The knowledge that germs spread infectious disease was a huge help because
it lead to so many personal/professional hygiene measures that prevented the
spread of contagious diseases. In this regard the development of modern
plumbing possibly has saved more people from early death than any
technological/scientific/medical advancement...polio was transmitted mostly
by contaminated drinking water...as so many other major diseases. I would
put the development of aspirin as a widely used drug and the discovery of
the penicillin as close seconds since when measures to avoid contagions fail
they help in saving the life. Nutritional advancements of so many kinds have
also prevented to some extent many of the severe nutritional deficiencies
that cause premature death i.e., beriberi etc.
The human life span has increased from about an average of 22 years(estimated)
2000 years ago to 44 at the turn of the 20th century. Currently, it is
difficult to tell due to the advancement of medicine to the point where the
average age increases years it seems. It is somewhere around 82 years on the
average. Females live 6-7 years longer than males on the average. The
newest variable is of course the advancement in genetics. Who knows what will
come about from the completion of the Human Genome Project.
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Update: June 2012