Positive Medical Mystery

What’s behind the apparent reductions in success against the diseases of aging in wealthy countries? Better diagnosis and treatment can’t explain it all.

While diseases like cancer, heart disease and stroke still kill millions, the data show they are happening later and people in general are living longer in good health. Example: Colon cancer has fallen almost by half since the 1980s. And improved screening isn’t the sole reason.

Dementia rates, as well, have fallen 20% percent per decade, starting in 1977.

And heart disease—still the leading killer in the US—has been falling for five decades. Researchers have hypotheses for the declines but still haven’t proven the positive causes.

The New York Times

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