March 1, 1958


JAMA. 1958;166(9):1043. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990090051013

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The never-ending struggle of physicians with disease sometimes creates the impression that each hard-won gain will eventually mean an increasing proportion of older adults. Nevertheless, as the article beginning on page 1051 points out, the proportion of older adults in some nations will soon start to decline despite the phenomenal medical progress of recent decades. Meanwhile, more and more persons will enjoy the privilege of dying old instead of dying young. But this privilege will not result in a topsided age distribution of adults in several Western nations. Starting in 1961 in Australia the aging of the electorate will give way to the "younging" of the electorate. The proportion of adults aged 50 and over will start declining in New Zealand in 1962, in France in 1965, and in the United States in 1970. The author, the director of the Bureau of Medical Economic Research of the American Medical Association,

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