Some heartburn drugs linked with increased risk of death July 11, 2017 - Some heartburn drugs are associated with a higher risk of death. Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid etc. The drugs, called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), reduce stomach acid and are available over-the-counter and by prescription. Others have linked PPIs to a range of potential health risks including kidney disease, stomach infections, heart disease, pneumonia, bone fractures, and dementia.
Fecal bacteria found in drinks sold by UK top 3 coffee chains Starbucks, Caffe Nero, and Costa all had traces of fecal pathogen. 7 out of 10 samples from Costa were found to contain the bacteria. 3 out of 10 samples from Starbucks and Caffe Nero had the bacteria, known as fecal coliform. www.rt.com/uk/394388-fecal-bacteria-coffee-drinks/
A Penn State Medical School epidemiological study, reported by Science Daily, is urging physicians to not prescribe statin drugs for Parkinson’s disease symptoms. Evidently, due to earlier studies, cholesterol reducing drugs were considered preventative of Parkinson’s disease.
Amazingly, this practice had been going on for some time, thanks to several questionable, and conflicting studies of statin use and Parkinson’s disease. The most recent study was conducted at the Penn State College of Medicine earlier this year (2017.)
Their conclusion asserts that statin drugs should not be used as a Parkinson’s disease (PD) preventative. A previous study claimed patients who stopped taking statin drugs were more prone to Parkinson’s disease, thus statin drugs were helpful for preventing Parkinson’s.
The Penn State study provided evidence that the opposite is true. Statin drug use can lead to Parkinson’s disease.
Understanding Parkinson’s Disease (PD)
Parkinson’s disease was named after British apothecary James Parkinson, who published “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy” in 1817.
The shaking palsy was not a new phenomenom, but it had not been categorized yet as a disease. There is historical evidence that shaking palsy has been around since ancient times.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive central nervous system disease with a prognosis of worsening symptoms. It is marked by uncontrollable tremors that often start with one hand, rigid muscles, slow sometimes halting movement, and imprecise motor control.
PD affects those aged over 60 and middle aged more than other age groups. But it can strike younger men and women also. It is associated with a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine due to damaged and degenerated ganglia.
The ganglia is a lower part of the brain that connects to the upper spinal cord central nervous system. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter generally involved with memory, pleasurable reward feelings, cognition, attention, and behavior. Ganglia dopamine focuses more on physical movement. Parsing the Parkinson’s Study Statin Use Quandary
The Penn State researchers worked and corresponded with other researchers in other states to arrive at a conclusion that contradicted an earlier 2013 Taiwan study, which was often referenced as a guideline for secondary uses of statin drugs to inhibit Parkinson’s disease.
That study concluded those who stopped taking fat-soluble statins were 58 percent more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who kept taking the drugs. But this 58 percent comparison was based on comparing users of fat soluble statin drugs to water soluble statin drugs, not those who stopped taking statin drugs all together.
Taiwan’s public health system requires doctors to stop prescribing statin drugs upon reaching specific target levels of reduced cholesterol levels.
Study author Jou-Wei Lin, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Taiwan University in Taipei claimed Taiwan’s statin prescription policy “Allowed us to see whether there was any difference in the risk of Parkinson’s in people who stopped taking statins compared to the ones who kept taking them.”
Their conclusion was based on the fact that fat soluble statin drugs are more able to penetrate the blood brain barrier. Because Parkinson’s disease occurrences were 58 percent higher among those who were no longer prescribed water soluble statins than those who were taking fat soluble statins.
Therefore, that research team concluded that statin drugs are helpful at lowering Parkinson’s disease risks. (Source)
That seems a conclusion worth revisiting and re-examination.
Some of the recent 2017 Penn State study researchers had been involved with an earlier (2015) study that easily demonstrated people with higher cholesterol readings were at lower risk for Parkinson’s than folks with low cholesterol readings. (Study Source)
This is no surprise to those of us who know the importance of cholesterol for building brain cells and the central nervous system’s protective myelin sheath, a fatty substance that also facilitates neuron communications.
Reducing cholesterol also reduces the materials needed for a fully functioning brain and protected nervous system.
The current 2017 Penn State study’s data analysis found that prior statin use was associated with a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease and was more noticeable during the start of the drug use. Penn State assistant professor of public health sciences, Guodong Liu, stated:
Statin use was associated with higher, not lower, Parkinson’s disease risk, and the association was more noticeable for lipophilic [fat soluble] statins, an observation inconsistent with the current hypothesis that these statins protect nerve cells. In addition, this association was most robust for use of statins less than two-and-a-half years, suggesting that statins may facilitate the onset of Parkinson’s disease. (Source)
Studies Based on False Premises Have False Outcomes
Unfortunately, many doctors are probably not aware of this latest research or the previous 2015 Penn State study that showed people with higher cholesterol were at lower risk for PD (discussed earlier).
As usual, the Penn State researchers were sure to advise taking statins as directed by their physicians as long as they were not taking them with the idea of preventing Parkinson’s disease (PD).
What is usually ignored by mainstream medical research is the importance of cholesterol for several health factors, especially neurological. In addition to rising PD symptoms, many statin users stop taking statins due to symptoms of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
The risk for neurological disease using statin drugs is not worth using drugs which have been proven to not prevent heart disease, but can increase the risk of heart failure. Yet, the bogus cholesterol theory of cholesterol from dietary saturated fat causing heart disease persists.
Two pastors from Washington, D.C., have filed a lawsuit against Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association saying the organizations have purposely deceived the public about sugar-sweetened beverages and their impact on health.
"The background of this lawsuit is that there's an epidemic of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and a range of other degenerative diseases in the black and Latino communities, and really throughout America. For me, as a pastor, I see the toll it takes on families and children when they lose their parents much too soon," Delman Coates, the pastor at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, in Clinton, Maryland, told CBS News.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in D.C. Superior Court on behalf of Coates and William Lamar, the senior pastor at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, DC.
"It is a matter of life and death in our communities," Lamar told CBS News.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012 research showed daily regular soda and fruit drink consumption was most common among black and Hispanic Americans.
Other studies have linked drinking sugary beverages to diabetes, heart disease, and higher death rates.
What's more, half of all African-Americans and 42 percent of Latinos are obese, compared to just over a third of whites in the U.S. Drinking soda from a young age was also found to be "a particularly strong predictor" of a future higher body mass index (BMI) for young black children, a 2016 study in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities reported.
"It breaks my heart and I'm saddened by the way in which we're losing so many people. I'm losing more people to the sweets than to the streets," Coates told CBS News.
Coke commercials often feature young, slender people gulping the fizzy beverage, smiling and sharing good times, but the pastors say those images are misleading.
"Marketing for Coca-Cola is focused around health and fun and showing very sexy bodies in their advertising. You never see an obese person. If the people are consuming Coca-Cola at this rate, there is no way those bodies would look like that," said Lamar.
"It's almost as if they are selling joy. They are equating this product with the things that people are hoping for – joy, smiles, family. But this product will not deliver that. It delivers the exact opposite. Silence around this issue is violence," Lamar said.
In addition to deceptive marketing, the lawsuit claims the soda maker and beverage trade association have "sought deceptively to switch the focus from sugar-sweetened beverages to inactivity as the key driver of obesity and related epidemics, including through their expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars on research and programs that almost exclusively highlight exercise."
Maia Kats, a lawyer with the Center for Science in the Pubic Interest, told CBS News, "Their advertising campaigns do indicate that light exercise enables you to reward yourself with a Coca-Cola, but that's deceptive."
She said the company also pays bloggers to compare the calories in their sweetened soda to a similar number of calories in a serving of almonds, but that the nutritional comparison is also misleading because nuts are more nutritionally dense.
"That muddies the science," Kats said.
Coates said the fight against the beverage company resonates for him in a deeper way.
"As a person of African-American descent in this country and with a knowledge of the history, I'm deeply saddened by the way African-American slaves were used for the production of sugar and now African-Americans are dying because of sugar," he said.
As church leaders, Lamar and Coates said they're fighting an uphill battle in their efforts to encourage people in their communities — including an increasing number of African-American adults and children with prediabetes and diabetes — to live a healthier lifestyle.
"We are challenged by the messages they're receiving from the beverage industry and companies like Coca-Cola," said Coates.
Lamar added, "Our hope is that Coca-Cola will discontinue marketing these drinks as something that is healthful and healthy."
CBS News reached out to Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association for their response but has yet to hear back.
In a statement to the Washington Post, Coca-Cola dismissed the pastors' charges and denied the merits a previous lawsuit they filed and then withdrew in California, but plan to refile:
"The allegations here are likewise legally and factually meritless, and we will vigorously defend against them," the statement said. "The Coca-Cola Company understands that we have a role to play in helping people reduce their sugar consumption."
The American Beverage Association also defended the industry's conduct.
"America's beverage companies know we have an important role to play in addressing our nation's health challenges. That's why we're engaging with health groups and community organizations to drive a reduction in the sugar and calories Americans get from beverages," the ABA said in a statement to the Washington Post. "Unfounded accusations like these won't do anything to address health concerns, but the actions we're taking, particularly in areas where obesity rates are among the highest, can make a difference."
One of the largest food recalls in history just happened! Look what it is! Breaking! One of the largest food recalls in history just happened! Look what it is!
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Over 7 million pounds of hot dog products have been recalled nation wide.
breaking911.com reports: Marathon Enterprises Inc., a Bronx, N.Y. establishment, is recalling approximately 7,196,084 pounds of hot dog products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically bone fragments.
The beef and pork hot dog and sausage items were produced on various dates between March 17, 2017 and July 4, 2017. A number of products are subject to recall.
The problem was discovered through FSIS’ Consumer Compliant Monitoring System (CCMS) on July 10, 2017. Complaints stated that extraneous material, specifically pieces of bone, were found within the product.
Natural News) The results of a new pilot study showed the efficacy of lipoic acid in the reduction of whole brain atrophy among patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) compared with recently approved FDA drug ocrelizumab (brand name Ocrevus). In a randomized, double-blind study, researchers found that a daily dose of 1,200 mg of lipoic acid taken for two years reduced symptoms associated with SPMS, a more severe form of multiple sclerosis. These findings could offer hope for patients with MS, a condition with no recognized cure.
Lipoic acid is a naturally-occurring antioxidant produced by the body. In Europe, it is regulated as drug as a treatment for diabetes-related complications as well as conditions associated with alcoholism. Here, it is marketed as an alternative supplement, aimed at reducing the effects of oxidative stress. While there have been several attempts to link the antioxidant with the prevention or treatment of various diseases, this is the first conclusive study which suggests the potency of lipoic acid with regards to neurological conditions.
For the purpose of the study, lead author Dr. Rebecca Spain and her team recruited 51 adults aged 40 to 70, all of whom had SPMS. Twenty-seven of them were to receive 1,200 mg of lipoic acid every day for the next two years. The other 24 were given a placebo. Whole brain atrophy — described as the reduction in total brain volume due to neuron loss — was measured at the start of the study, after a year, and at the end using MRI scans. It was found that lipoic acid reduced brain atrophy by a significant 68 percent, which is greater than the reported impact of ocrelizumab, which was only shown to improve brain atrophy by 18 percent in several clinical trials.
Dr. Spain noted that patients who took the lipoic acid treatment experienced fewer falls and had better walking times compared to those who just received a placebo.
The results of this study need to be taken with a certain amount of skepticism, warned Dr. Spain. As she noted on DailyMail.co.uk, “These are high doses. And while it seems safe, we won’t know whether it actually improves the lives of people with MS until we can replicate the results in the pilot study through a much bigger clinical trial.”
Dr. Spain and her team are already planning to begin a further trial later this year. In this trial, lipoic acid and omega-3 fatty acids will be used both alone and in conjunction as a potential treatment for both relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Fifty-three patients will be measured on their cognitive function before, during, and after the treatment.
Director of Research at the MS Society, Dr. Susan Kohlhaas praised the initial data, stating, “While it’s not possible to make comparisons between this potential treatment and others that have been tested in different trials, these early-stage results hold promise for people with progressive MS. We’re looking forward to seeing larger trials to confirm whether this antioxidant is a safe and effective treatment for MS.” On MS
Some basic facts about MS include:
Various health groups have estimated that there are currently 2.3 million people with the condition. The condition occurs when the immune system begins to attack the fatty protective coating in nerve cells. Not all people experience the same MS symptoms, as each case is different. Common symptoms, however, include vision problems, dizziness, fatigue, memory, thinking and emotional impairment, and sexual dysfunction. To date, scientists are unclear on the exact causes of MS. It is hypothesized that the neurological condition is the result of several factors, including family history, environmental factors, and lifestyle. (Related: Multiple sclerosis can be mitigated by making healthy lifestyle changes.)
(Natural News) Alzheimer’s disease is an insidious illness; often developing without indication and leaving patients and families alike with a heavy burden. The latest statistics reveal that around five million Americans currently live with the disease. This number is estimated to peak at 16 million by 2050. The Alzheimer’s Association calculates that someone in the United States develops the condition every 66 seconds. Think about that for a minute. The time it took for you to read this entire paragraph was long enough for someone you may know to develop Alzheimer’s.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are treatment plans to better manage it. These programs are normally expensive and tedious. A better option, health experts say, is to engage in proactive and preventive plans. This involves eating better. Thankfully, there are five nutrients that can be taken regularly to reduce the risk of developing this debilitating illness.
Omega-3 fatty acids – Numerous studies have observed the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and the onset of Alzheimer’s. A systematic review published just this year concluded that an ample intake of omega-3 can reduce the risk of developing the disease and can even alleviate a few symptoms in milder forms of Alzheimer’s. However, omega-3 fatty acids were shown to be ineffective in managing severe cases of the illness. Omega-3 can be easily found in such foods as flaxseeds, salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, and other fatty fish.
Flavanoids – These antioxidants protect neurons, slowing down any possible degeneration, and consequently preventing mental disturbances such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Studies have suggested that flavanoids influence cognition and learning in both human and animal models. Berries are a good source of flavanoids, particularly those that are darker in color.
Vitamins C & E – Alzheimer’s disease can be caused by damage from free radicals. Foods that are rich in vitamins C & E can help reduce mental deterioration and decline. A study conducted by the Rush University Medical Center suggested that people who followed a diet high in vitamins C & E were half as likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Almonds, spinach and sunflower seeds are great sources of vitamin E, whereas red peppers, oranges, and brussel sprouts offer excellent amounts of vitamin C.
Curry powder or turmeric – Some people may not find the taste or color appealing, but turmeric has extremely powerful anti-inflammatory properties which can be useful for Alzheimer’s prevention. Studies have proven that turmeric benefits both the physical and mental state. Those who eat curry on a regular basis generally have better brain performance than those who do not consume the spice.
Folate – B-vitamins are generally known to aid in mental health. Folate, in particular, is highly recommended as a natural means to alleviate certain symptoms associated with cognitive decline. Pregnant woman are also suggested to increase their folate intake to prevent neurological defects in their children. Foods rich in folate include beets, lentils, spinach, and chickpeas.
Diet is not the only aspect to consider. In order to fully prevent the onset of the disease, wellness experts recommend other lifestyle changes such as proper exercise and adequate sleep. Some things you may not know about Alzheimer’s
Women are twice as likely to develop the disorder. This is according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Researchers do not understand why this may be so, but have noted that brain shrinkage tends to be more severe among women.
Alzheimer’s disease is associated with heart disease. Scientists have found that having one condition increases the risk of developing the other. It is hypothesized that heart disease narrows blood vessels in the brain which increases the risk of dementia, and ultimately Alzheimer’s.
The National Institute on Aging says that those who are less educated are more at risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
The medical cost of Alzheimer’s treatment can reach more than $1 trillion in the U.S. alone by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 by: Rhonda Johansson Tags: ashwagandha, Bacopa, Black walnut, Bladderwack, Bugleweed, Echinacea, Evening primrose oil, flaxseed, ginger, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, iodine, Lemon Balm, licorice, natural remedies, Siberian Ginseng, Stinging Nettle, thyroid, thyroid function
(Natural News) Think of your thyroid as a car engine. This tiny, butterfly-shaped gland located near the Adam’s apple produces the hormones that are needed by your cells to perform at their optimum level. The thyroid gland influences all systems, but plays a crucial role in the functioning of the heart, brain, kidneys, and liver. External factors such as disease or injury can cause the thyroid to either not produce enough hormones (hypothyroidism) or excessively generate hormones (hyperthyroidism). Either condition is exhausting, and can leave a person more susceptible to various other diseases. Whereas most people turn to prescription medicine to treat a thyroid problem, there are natural alternatives to consider. Herbs, for example, are a fantastic and cheap way to alleviate these symptoms. Listed below are 14 highly recommended herbs to support thyroid function.
Siberian Ginseng (for hypothyroidism) – This is also known as eleuthero. Siberian ginseng has extremely powerful stimulant properties that give the gland the energy is needs to function. The generally recommended intake of ginseng is around 200 mg per day, split in two doses, one before breakfast and the other before lunch. Bacopa (for hypothyroidism) – There is evidence to suggest that this herb can alleviate symptoms of hypothyroidism. One study even concluded that regular intake of bacopa can reduce hypothyroidism symptoms by as much as 41 percent. The most ideal reason for taking this herb is that it generally does not cause any negative side-effects. Ashwagandha (for hypothyroidism) – This herb is beloved by all those familiar with Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha is characterized by its potent antioxidant properties that is believed to directly affect the thyroid. The herb has been studied to improve thyroid function and even helps the body fight off free radicals. Echinacea (for hyperthyroidism) – This herb is more known for its use in overall immune system function. However, echinacea can also help those with hyperthyroidism. The root of the herb has been used as a treatment for various autoimmune conditions. Bugleweed (for hyperthyroidism) – Bugleweed is a great choice for those with milder forms of hyperthyroidism. A study found that bugleweed supplements improved thyroid function better than the prescription medicine, methimazole, as reported on the Juicing for Health website. Lemon balm (for hyperthyroidism) – This herb normalizes thyroid activity, making it an ideal choice for those with hyperthyroidism. Lemon balm also enhances overall immunity, while promoting natural detoxification. Bladderwack (for support) – The name sounds funny, but the first part already gives an indication to its usage. The algae is an excellent source of iodine, which is the “fuel” needed by the thyroid. Bladderwack has also been shown to reduce the size of goiters that are usually associated with thyroid problems. Wellness experts suggest taking bladderwack as a preventive measure rather than as a treatment method. The algae is known to stimulate the production of thyroid hormones. Black walnut (for support) – Next to seafood, black walnut is a great source of iodine. Remember that iodine is necessary for proper thyroid function. A lack of iodine is associated with a diverse range of illnesses including depression, chronic fatigue, and goiter. Ginger (for support) – Fresh, organic ginger is loaded with essential nutrients such as zinc, potassium, and magnesium, which keep the thyroid healthy. The compounds in ginger also reduce inflammation in the body. The best way to consume ginger is through tea. Stinging nettle (for support) – The herb can help reverse iodine deficiency. Stinging nettle can be used for either condition as it is able to balance hormone production. For best results, drink around two to three cups each day. Evening primrose oil (for support) – Although not an herb, the oil is a nice supplement to support thyroid function. Evening primrose is full of amino acids that reduce inflammation in the body and can prevent other conditions such as hair loss, dry skin, and excessive menstrual bleeding. Flaxseed (for support) – Flaxseeds are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to improved cardiovascular and thyroid health. Several studies have documented the connection between flaxseed intake and healthy thyroid function. The recommended intake is either one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds or one teaspoon of flaxseed oil each day. Licorice (for support) – While a lot of people don’t like the taste, licorice helps improve energy levels in the body, and supports general thyroid function. A specific acid found in licorice was also studied to be effective against the development of thyroid cancer and other endocrine-related problems. Iodine (for support) – The thyroid needs iodine to function properly. This nutrient can be sourced through various means but the best way to receive iodine is through food. Eat iodine-rich foods such as eggs, fish, seaweed, kelp, and potatoes.
Remember that there is no magic pill for either condition, but the proper supplements, along with correct diet and exercise, can ensure that your thyroid functions at its best.
Life threatening obesity has become a worldwide epidemic, with 711 million overweight around the globe led by French fry loving Americans.
A detailed report in the latest New England Journal of Medicine is winning alarmed attention in Washington because it finds that American children and adults are leading the obesity parade. Tata Harper, Founder Tata Harper Watch Full Screen
"The highest level of age-standardized childhood obesity was observed in the United States, 12.7 percent," said the report.
"The United States and China had the highest numbers of obese adults," added the authoritative study.
Obesity is no secret in the U.S., but the continued domestic epidemic, especially after the former Obama administration declared war on it, is alarming officials.
While the Journal looked at the global situation, a Harvard University analysis of the new report highlighted the U.S. problem based on data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their analysis said, "About 38 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 and older are obese as are more than 17 percent of children aged 6 to 11, federal data shows."
It also pulled out the key global findings:
In 2015, an estimated 603.7 million adults and 107.7 million children worldwide were obese. That represents about 12 percent of all adults and 5 percent of all children. The prevalence of obesity doubled in 73 countries between 1980 and 2015 and continuously increased in most of the other countries. China and India had the highest number of obese children. China and the U.S. had the highest number of obese adults. Excess body weight accounted for about 4 million deaths — or 7.1 percent of all deaths — in 2015. Almost 70 percent of deaths related to a high BMI were due to cardiovascular disease. The study finds evidence that having a high BMI causes leukemia and several types of cancer, including cancers of the esophagus, liver, breast, uterus, ovary, kidney and thyroid. In rich and poor countries, obesity rates increased, indicating "the problem is not simply a function of income or wealth. Changes in the food environment and food systems are probably major drivers. Increased availability, accessibility, and affordability of energy-dense foods, along with intense marketing of such foods, could explain excess energy intake and weight gain among different populations. The reduced opportunities for physical activity that have followed urbanization and other changes in the built environment have also been considered as potential drivers; however, these changes generally preceded the global increase in obesity and are less likely to be major contributors."
Corporations saving BILLIONS as Americans are dying younger from toxic effects of medications, pesticides and herbicides
Sunday, August 13, 2017 by: Isabelle Z. Tags: American life expectancy, Antidepressants, cancer, cost savings, death rate, diabetes, early deaths, life expectancy, longevity, medications, pensions, pesticides, retirement savings, suicide, unhealthy habits 5,210Views Image: Corporations saving BILLIONS as Americans are dying younger from toxic effects of medications, pesticides and herbicides
(Natural News) Until recently, the average American life expectancy has gone up. However, it now appears that the toxic lifestyle embraced by much of the country is finally catching up with people, and those life expectancy gains have come to screeching halt. This might be bad news for individuals and their loved ones, but corporations are noting sizeable savings in the form of pension costs. After all, if employees die younger, a firm won’t have to pay them a pension or other lifelong retirement benefits for as many years.
After the American death rate increased for the first time since 1999 two years ago, at least a dozen major corporations have been able to reduce estimates for the amount of money they might owe retirees by more than $9.7 billion combined. Lockheed Martin alone was able to adjust its estimates regarding retirement obligations downward by $1.6 billion in 2015 and 2016, and firms like Verizon and General Motors are also reaping the benefits. This is based on an analysis carried out by Bloomberg of company filings. The American death rate is an age-adjusted share of Americans dying.
Meanwhile, a report issued in July by the social security chief actuary showed a slight improvement in its financial outlook as longevity gains failed to meet last year’s projections.
While other factors also play a role in the amount of money companies must shell out in pensions – including salary levels, health care costs, and asset returns – the notion that these firms are changing their adjustments based on the new mortality trend shows just how serious it is.
The death rates for people in the U.S. older than 50 have improved by one percent per year since 1950 on average. The long-term trend increased up to two percent in the years from 2000 to 2009 before stalling; the death rates only improved by about half a percent each year from 2010 to 2014. The life expectancy for 65-year-olds rose by a meager four months in the years from 2010 and 2015, which is half of the improvement noted in the years from 2005 to 2010. Moreover, the American death rate actually increased in 2015, and the death rate worsened for those over 65 in the first reversal for Americans of retirement age to be seen since 1999.
Experts say trend deserves urgent attention
Experts say that it is very concerning when the life expectancy of a developed country stops improving, and it’s even worse when it drops. Urban Institute Demographer Laudan Aron said that this trend reflects many of the “underlying conditions of life.” He feels that this dropping trajectory, particularly in comparison to those of other wealthy nations, should be considered among the most urgent issues on our national agenda.
Medications, pesticides, and poor diet to blame
It’s not surprising to see these trends given the unhealthy habits of many Americans. A paper from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America suggested that the mortality rate for middle-aged white Americans was rising largely because of suicides and drug overdoses. Antidepressant use has also been on the rise in recent years, and antidepressants increase a person’s risk of suicide. Drug overdoses, meanwhile, have also been climbing thanks to opioid addiction, with many people starting down this deadly path thanks to prescriptions for painkillers given to them by their doctors.
Cancer is another big killer in the U.S., and the toxins found in our everyday products could be to blame. The pesticides and herbicides sprayed on our produce, for example, are carcinogens, while many of the foods found in American grocery stores are full of dangerous additives. Meanwhile, the nation’s skyrocketing obesity rate due to unhealthy food and a lack of exercise is also sending Americans to an early grave by causing heart disease and diabetes.