Details Behind Life Expectancy
- Length: 1:44 minutes (1.59 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
July 20, 2012
Interview with Laura Carstensen PhD, author of the book A Long Bright Future
Dr. Laura Carstensen:
Dr. Laura Carstensen, Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity and author of the book A Long Bright Future, says a big part in the increase of life expectancy has more to do with babies than it does old people.
Because it was in the twentieth century, that 25% of babies who were born died before they reached 5 years old. Today most babies who are born in developed countries are having the opportunity to grow old - that's a spectacular accomplishment.
And that's had a big impact on the life expectancy statistics. But what else accounts for the big increase in life expectancy?
Medicine has something to do with it. But much of the gain in life expectancy really came about because once we understood how diseases were transmitted we improved the sanitation. So the world we live in is much healthier.
But it's not just about living longer; it's about living longer and healthier.
And the good news is for the last fifty years, each generation that has arrived at old age has been healthier than the one before it.