The Public Interest

A Social Report in practice - THE OFFICIAL SUMMARY

Spring 1969

HEALTH AND ILLNESS:—There have been dramatic increases in health and life expectancy in the twentieth century, but they have been mainly the result of developments whose immediate effect has been on the younger age groups.  The expectancy of life at birth in the United States has increased from 47.3 years at the turn of the century to 70.5 years in 1967, or by well over twenty years. The number of expected years of life remaining at age 5 has increased by about twelve years, and that at age 25 about nine years, but that at age 65 not even three years. Modem medicine and standards of living have evidently been able to do a great deal for the young, and especially the very young, but not so much for the old.

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