March 4, 2005


Prudent behavior helps to cut death rates (FRANK GREVE, 3/04/05, Miami Herald)

Americans are living more prudently when it comes to their health, suggest new government numbers on what killed people in 2003.

The figures, released this week by the Centers for Disease Control, predict a record-high life expectancy of 77.6 years for Americans born in 2003. That's nearly four months longer than the life expectancy for Americans born in 2002 and more than health demographers had expected.

But the big surprise was an almost across-the-board decline in mortality from the causes of death over which people have the greatest personal control. For example, while the overall U.S. death rate declined 1.7 percent from 2002 to 2003:

• Alcohol-induced deaths declined 4.3 percent.

• Drug-induced deaths dropped 3.3 percent.

• Homicides dropped 4.9 percent.

• Deaths due to firearm injuries dropped 2.9 percent.

• Suicides dropped 3.7 percent.

In addition, accidental deaths of all kinds were down 2.2 percent.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 4, 2005 7:17 AM

No doubt accidental deaths declined overall due to people slapping-on their federally-mandated safety helmets before getting out of bed in the morning, while those libertarian nutheads would have just let these people continue to slip and and die, willy-nilly; thank G*d for the Third Way! Press On, OJ! Press On!

Posted by: Palmcroft at March 4, 2005 10:56 AM

Perhaps getting out of bed in the morning is a dangerous anachronism.

Posted by: ed at March 4, 2005 7:22 PM

Living like a puritan doesn't mean you'll live longer, only that it will seem longer.

Posted by: Bart at March 5, 2005 3:29 PM

Yet they were remarkably long lived.

Posted by: oj at March 5, 2005 5:44 PM

But their lives were so empty, who cared? My dad is 79, my mother is 75. My dad's had two heart attacks and my mother has emphysema. Yet, each remain 2-3 pack a day smokers and they are both boozehounds by any reasonable definition of the term. My dad is also about 75 lbs overweight, like pretty much every male in his family. Neither has any interest in giving up their respective vices just to live a little while longer. There is a difference between living and existing. It's just not worth it.

Posted by: Bart at March 5, 2005 6:20 PM



(A) You've obviously never read them

(B) You're black

Posted by: oj at March 5, 2005 11:00 PM