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Health Concerns – Then (1900 – 2010) and Now (2020)

The New England Journal of Medicine produced a chart that showed “What Killed Us, Then and Now”. Their study covered about 100 years, from 1900 to 2010.

Click here if you want to view the chart.

It is painfully obvious that heart disease and cancer are killing us, i.e. Americans.

From 1900 to 2010, those two ailments went from accounting for 18 percent of all deaths to 63 percent.

(I knew it wasn’t my imagination when I said that I didn’t remember all this cancer when I was growing up; nor that many people dying from heart attacks.)

Deaths as a result of accidents decreased by 52 percent.

But take a real close look at the two bar graphs on the chart.

Two things to note:

  • Suicide is not a disease or an accident.
  • Suicide was not on the bar for 1900.

That’s very telling about our society, don’t you think?

But that was THEN.  Perhaps they just didn’t have the information , data or statistics.

1900 to 2010 is 110 years.  Instead of 110 years, there are only 10 years between 2010 and 2020.  I am very saddened.  Clearly, that chart will have to be updated because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


What do you think?

11 Points


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  1. The reality of numbers is we can spin them, right?
    The average lifespan in 1900 was 47 (40 for African American males)
    by 2000 that had changed to 75 (64 for African American males)

    so, of course the diseases that kill us shift to long term illness.


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