The above graphs are comparative Survival Curves
for over 100 years, from 1900 and as projected into the near future.
In a Survival Curve, demographers take a certain population (e.g., 100,000
individuals within a particular social and ecological context),
and they chart the mortality statistics over time, correlating that with the age of death. Technically,
it is the Percentage Surviving (vertical axis) as a function of Age (horizontal axis).
In the above Survival Curves, we see that in 1900, slightly more than
20% of the population had died by age 10 and about 50% of the
population had died by the age of 60. By the age of
70, only 30% of the population was surviving. Thus,
most people did not suffer from advanced ageing, and your Life-Expectancy
would have been about 20 years shorter than it is today. There were, however, some people who did live
into their 80's; but they were the genetically hardy. Whereas now,
because of industrialized society, advances in sanitation,
consistency of food supply, improvements in personal hygiene and public health
such as vaccination and clean water, and
medicine, more than 50% of the population will live to over 80 years; and consequently,
most of us will live long enough to suffer from advanced ageing.
Keep in mind that "ageing" is a genetically programmed, down-regulation of
biological structures and functions, which causes a declined
in cell number, cell rate, and the quality of cellular components. Because it is
genetically programmed, improvements in the environment and allopathic or conventional
medicine will have only a marginal benefit - indeed, ultimately, will make the problem even worse. Health and medicine, to be
effective, must correct the decline in
cell number, rate, and quality at the genetic level. And that means the invention
of new technologies.
Two other facts are of interest.
The goal of medicine must ultimately be the cure and prevention of all
disease. But, if all causes of mortality (i.e., heart disease, cancer,
stroke, diabetes, accidents, homicides, etc.)
could somehow be eliminated by miracles in extremely advanced medicine, then the average
life-span would be increased by only about 12 years; and in that situation, 100%
of the population would end up living in wheel-chairs and dying of advanced senescense.
So, advances in curing or preventing disease, from the approach of
conventional medicine, is not a solution and is counter productive.
Another fact is that before 1900, when there were no antibiotics, effective drugs,
practical surgical procedures (most surgery resulted in death from
infection or shock) or other medical
treatments of any consequence, for those individuals who lived to 65 years of
age, their natural life-expectancy was about 76, which is only 4 years shorter
that it is today, and those additional 4 years are probably due mostly to healthier living than to advamces in modern medicine.
This is why conventional, disease-oriented medicine
has not and will not be effective in the extension of healthy life-span, unless
and until it evolves into regenerative medicine and the control of ageing.
Historically, we are in an unprecedented situation. We either solve the
inherent genetic defects of our nature or we get trapped in and over-whelmed by the consequences of half measures. And that is why biological
ageing is the central problem which we face, today and in the future; and it is ageing which needs to be cured.
This prospect has been seen by demographers since the 1950's but now should be
obvious to everyone.