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December 19, 1953


Author Affiliations

Meriden, Conn.

JAMA. 1953;153(16):1442-1444. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940330026009

The subjects of long duration illness and the care of the aged are close to my heart and are conditions that I have been interested in for many years. Life expectancy in the United States has increased and, I am sure, will continue to increase for many years to come until this nation enters its period of deterioration, which must come to all nations. Then we will get a reversal of this trend. A child born at the turn of the century had a life expectancy of about 49 years.1 A child born today has a life expectancy of about 69 years. One does not have to be a great prophet to predict that, before long, we will pass the biblical expectancy of three score and ten.

There are several reasons for this increase, and among these we think of the great advances in public health and sanitation. A