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Canada (161,710)
Sociology (1,513)
SOC246H1 (20)

The Compression of Morbidity Summary

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Markus Schafer

AGING NATURAL DEATH AND THE COMPRESSION OF MORBIDITYthe avg length of life has risen from 4773 years in this cent but the max life span has not increased survival curves have assumed an ever more rectangular form80 of the years of life lost to nontraumatic premature deaths are now due to the chronic diseases of the later yrsthe ideal avg lifespan is 85 yrs chronic illness may be postponed by changes in life style and it has been shown that the physiologic and psychologic markers of aging may be modifiedthe avg age at first infirmity can be raised thereby making the morbidity curve more rectangular extension of adult vigor far into a fixed lifespan compresses the period of senescence near the end of life this article discusses a set of predictions that contradict the conventional anticipation of an ever older ever more feeble and ever more expensivetocarefor populace these predictions suggest that the number of very old persons will not increase that the avg period of diminished physical vigor will decrease that chronic disease will occupy a smaller proportion of the typ life span and that the need for medical care in later life will decrease in forecasting health the interaction bw two sets of obs has gone unnoticed1 The first set demonstrates that the length of the human life is fixedthat man is mortal and that natural death may occur wout diseaselife is finite 2 The second set indicates that chronic disease can be postponed and that many of the markers of aging may be modifieddisease can be postponedif these two premises are granted it follows that the time bw birth and first permanent infirmity must increase and that the avg period of infirmity must decrease THE LENGTH OF LIFE IS FIXED the medical model of disease assumes that death is always the result of a disease process if there were no disease there would be no deathif relative immortality were possible one would expect to find some persons who anticipated the future and acted accordingly a person genetically favoured and fortunate enough to avoid disease might live much longer than actuarially predicteddata fail to confirm the existence of such events y Ieits scientifically untrue despite a great change in avg life expectancy there has been no detectable change in the number of ppl living longer than 100 yrs or in the max age of persons dying in a given yearoldest age ever114 in Japan approx 110000 ppl in developed countries lives beyond the age of 100
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