JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.
According to William Curtis, the well-known newspaper correspondent, the actuaries of the large life insurance companies do not consider that the length of human life is increasing in the present conditions of our civilization. Admitting that there has been an improvement in the mortality of infants in the large centers of population this has not been counterbalanced, in their opinion, the deteriorating influences acting on the vitality of those of riper years. Moreover, by the preservation of the weaklings in infancy the death rate in more advanced life has been increased, and this with the modern tendency to urban concentration and the intense strain of modern life has tended to decrease the average of longevity in spite of better sanitary conditions, the triumphs of medicine and surgery, the higher standards of living, and all the other conditions that might seem favorable to the prolongation of existence.
MODERN LONGEVITY.. JAMA. 2006;295(11):1312. doi:10.1001/jama.295.11.1312-a