During the hundred and twenty years from 1800 to 1920, there was in the United States a gain of twenty-five years in the average expectancy of life. In the two decades from 1900 to 1920, there was a gain of five years. The average expectancy of life at the present time is 55.33 years for white males, and 57.52 years for white females. The chief statistical cause for the increase in life expectancy has been the saving of infant and child lives, but there has been an actual increase in the life expectancy of adults. As a result of the increase in the average span of life, a larger number of persons are entering the later decades when the so-called degenerative diseases take their toll. These diseases are chronic nephritis, degenerative heart conditions and hypertension. These three groups, which are closely related in both an etiologic and a pathologic sense,
NUZUM FR, ELLIOT AH, PRIEST BV. SPONTANEOUS NEPHRITIS IN THE RABBITCHANGES IN THE URINE, BLOOD METABOLITES, PHTHALEIN EXCRETION AND BLOOD PRESSURE IN A GROUP OF TWENTY ANIMALS FOLLOWED FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1932;49(5):744–752. doi:10.1001/archinte.1932.00150120034004
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