An editorial in the 200th anniversary issue of the New England Journal of Medicine looks at mortality and health through the centuries, and includes this chart of causes of death from the turn of the last century, which makes for quite a comparison. We're doing great on kidneys, but hearts not so much.
During the 20th century, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions assumed more dominant roles (see bar graphTop 10 Causes of Death: 1900 vs. 2010.), although outbreaks of infectious disease — from eastern equine encephalitis (1938) and kuru (1957) to legionnaires' disease (1977), AIDS (1981), and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (1993) — necessitated ongoing vigilance against microbes. New concerns also came to medical attention, from the terrifying consequences of thermonuclear war (1962) to the indolent but devastating effects of environmental pollution (1966) and climate change (1989). Optimism about prospects for the health of future populations persisted but remained tempered by concern about the pathologies of civilization. An obesity epidemic, feared in 1912, has come to pass. Our previously steady increase in life expectancy has stalled and may even be reversed (2005).
The Burden of Disease and the Changing Task of Medicine
(via Beth Pratt)
HOME: Stories From L.A., a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network, is back for its fourth season. This week:What happens to a utopia that never got off the ground? Bits and pieces of one, an experiment in postwar living for the masses, are hiding in plain sight in the hills above Sunset Boulevard. Architect and […]
When the Crown pardoned codebreaking war-hero and computer science pioneer Alan Turing in 2013, we noted that 50,000 other British men who were also convicted of “sodomy” remained criminals in the eyes of the law.
It’s difficult to comprehend the onset and severity of the 2008 financial crisis, but this timelapse map of US unemployment data from 1990 through July 2016 helps put things in context.
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