Risks in Perspective by BernardL.Cohen,Ph.D. 2003. the Journal of Physicians and Surgeons (H/T Al Fin) Perhaps the most meaningful way of putting risks into perspective is to consider the loss of life expectancy (LLE) that they cause. The chart is mostly for US cities. World poverty and air pollution have larger impacts on populations outside the United States.
One of the greatest risks to an individual is living in poverty: LLE is 9 years for 19 large U.S. cities and for Montreal. In Britain, the difference in life expectancy between professional people and unskilled laborers is 7.2 years, and in Finland it is also 7.2 years. When Canadian men are ranked by income, those in the 90th percentile live 6 years longer than those in the 10th percentile. The latter have a higher mortality rate by 32 percent for heart disease and stroke, by 34 percent for cancer, and by 88 percent for accidents, poison, and violence. On an international scale, poverty plays a much bigger role – life expectancy is typically 30 years longer in affluent countries than in poor countries. For example, in 1990 it was 77 years in Japan, Sweden, and Canada compared with 38 years in Afghanistan and Gambia and 42 years in Ethiopia and Guinea; the world average was 61 years.
By 2030, over 6 billion of the total population of 8.5 billion will be considered middle class or wealthier ($10-100 per day or better) and those people will be urbanized as well. China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and many other countries could make massive economic progress if they get their policies right.
Historically, diseases were one of the most important causes of life shortening, but now only heart disease (4.4 years), cancer (3.4 years), and stroke (250 days) cause LLE more than six months.
Effective early detection of cancer could increase treatment success and survival. Only Pancreatic cancer and a few other cancers have survival rates below 50% if they are caught in stage 1. Catching cancer before stage 1 gets cancer survival rates approaching 100%.
IBM Watson is climbing up the accuracy charts in making diagnoses correctly. Watson has been loaded with information from Medline, PubMed, dozens of textbooks and asked and answered every question on board exams. It’s all the information you’d need to be as good as the smartest second year med student. IBM-Maryland are three to five years from a real pilot test with doctors and widespread use of Watson as a diagnosis tool is more like 8 to 10 years out. However, combined with cheap and effective medical tests could provide constant monitoring and medical advice and lifestyle advice to keep everyone with higher levels of health and immediate detection of disease at the earliest stages.
A three-year study of 1,383 of alcohol dependent patients in treatment has shown that the medication naltrexone and up to 20 sessions of alcohol counseling by a behavioral specialist are equally effective treatments for alcohol dependence when combined with structured outpatient medical management.
Patients who received medical management plus either naltrexone or specialized counseling showed similarly improved outcomes (PDA= 80.6 percent and 79.2 percent, respectively), compared with patients who received medical management and placebo pills (75.1 percent).
Combined Behavioral Intervention, and naltrexone, and 2.16 for patients who received medical management and naltrexone (but no Combined Behavioral Intervention). That is, adding either naltrexone or specialized alcohol counseling to medical management almost doubled the chance to do well.
Other Big Impactors on Life Expectancy Explained
Having very poor, vs very good, social connections gives an LLE of 9 years. As one manifestation of this, at age 55 being single rather than married has an LLE of 3.2 years for males and 1.9 years for females; for widowed persons the LLE is 3.9 and 2.7 years, and for divorced persons, 6.2 and 2.5 years, respectively. For all of these factors, the LLE is larger for blacks than for whites.Some significant environmental problems for the average American, according to very rough EPA estimates, include air pollution (40 days), drinking water pollution (20 days), chemical residues in food (20 days), and chemicals released from consumer products (20 days). News media give wide publicity to cancer-causing pollutants. Some of these are pesticide residues in food (12 days), tobacco smoke (8 days), other indoor pollutants (2 days), industrial air pollution (4 days), hazardous waste sites (2.5 days), and drinking water contaminants (1.3 days).
From the standpoint of fatal occupational accidents, the most dangerous industries are construction (227 days) and mining (167 days); much safer are services (27 days), trade (27 days), and manufacturing (40 days).There are much larger variations within each industry; for example, construction worker accident LLE is 1,560 days for demolition workers vs 38 days for those working in heating, plumbing, and electrical wiring.
It is estimated that all radioactivity releases from nuclear power, including accidents and wastes, will eventually give the average American an LLE of 0.06 days. Nuclear power is an insignificant contributor to radiation exposure compared to radon in homes (25 days), other natural sources of radiation (10 days), and medical exposures (10 days)
SENS antiaging – repairing aging damage
* one month of a series of procedures, stem cell therapies, gene therapy, small molecule drugs etc… and then repeated every 10-30 years
* thorough repair and maintentance of tissues
* Could have significant progress in 25-30 years or it could take 100 years. We do not know.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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