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MORTALITY: Some good news about major diseases

There has been a surprising – and perplexing – trends towards a decrease in mortality from a number of the traditional major causes of death, at least in developed countries.  Of course, much of this is due to prevention, early screening, new pharmacology, advances in surgical technique.  But scientists feel that there may be something else going on (or a combination of factors).  Witness stomach cancer – when our grandparents were young, this was the primary cause of cancer deaths.  Today, stomach cancer is responsible for only about 2 percent of cancer deaths.  Colon cancer deaths peaked in the ’80s, and have  has dropped subsequently by nearly half.  Hip fractures have been falling by as much as 20 percent per decade recently.  And there’s even good news for dementia:  incidence rates have been falling since the ’70s.  This brief opinion piece explores this topic, concluding that there may be some beneficial change occurring with the process of aging at the cell level.

Source: Kolata, G. (2016, July 8). A medical mystery of the best kind: Diseases in decline.  The New York Times.  Click here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/10/upshot/a-medical-mystery-of-the-best-kind-major-diseases-are-in-decline.html?_r=0   Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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