Re: Life expectancy increasing rapidly
Thu, 10 Dec 1998 11:12:45 EST

In a message dated 12/10/98 3:05:11 AM, wrote:

>What's really exciting about this, is that a sustained rate of .4yrs/yr
>means a person of 35 years can expect to live another ~70 years, bringing
>us to the year 2068. Even the most conservative extropian's see radical
>nanotech by this point. So perhaps in a sense, we have already reached the
>breaking point, and can now expect to to catch the wave of ever increasing
>nanotech life-extension returns

Well, I'm all for optimism, but the results aren't *that* good. The main cause for improving life expectancies is improving rates of cardiovascular disease in middle age (which, interestingly, hasn't yet been explained). Late life expectancies are going up, but much more slowly. Last I checked, life expectancy at 65 was only going up 0.1 year/year. Current trends will get you to around 80-85 but we're going to need something else to get much beyond that.

P.S. I haven't seen the details for this year, but we may be seeing an effect from the AIDS drugs. AIDS has become a measurable drag on life expectancy, because its victims are so young, and the protease inhibitors have had a phenomenal effect, dropping mortality over 50%. They went into wide use over the last two years.