I believe that irrational exuberance dominated the mindset of Americans that Modern Medicine was going to increase lifespans indefinitely. Life expectancy of Americans dipped slightly in 2015 compared with 2014, according to the latest data from the CDC.

And keep in mind that the CDC is like the OPEC of drug companies, so it’s hardly unbiased. I’m not saying that they would ever skew statistics, but then again, yes I am. I know very well that they do. This is the same organization that says that 36,000 people die every year of the flu, just to bolster the sale of the ridiculous flu vaccine. 

The following is from the report:

In 2015, life expectancy at birth was 78.8 years for all Americans, a decrease of 0.1 year from 78.9 years in 2014, wrote Elizabeth Arias, PhD, and colleagues from the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the CDC.  

For males, life expectancy at birth changed from 76.5 years in 2014 to 76.3 years in 2015, a decrease of 0.2 year, and for females, it decreased 0.1 year from 81.3 years in 2014 to 81.2 years in 2015.

In 2015, life expectancy at age 65 years for the total population was 19.4 years, the same as in 2014. Life expectancy at age 65 was 20.6 years for women and 18.0 years for men, both unchanged from 2014. In 2015, the difference in life expectancy at age 65 between women and men held steady at 2.6 years.

In 2015, a total of 2,712,630 resident deaths were registered in the United States — 86,212 more than in 2014. From 2014 to 2015, the age-adjusted death rate for the total population rose 1.2%, from 724.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2014 to 733.1 in 2015.

"The rate for the total population rose significantly for the first time since 1999," the authors report.

Top Causes of Death

There was no change from 2014 to 2015 in the 10 top causes of death: heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory tract diseases, unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide. Together they accounted for 74.2% of all deaths in the United States in 2015.

However, from 2014 to 2015, age-adjusted death rates rose for 8 of 10 leading causes of death and decreased for 1. The rate increased 0.9% for heart disease, 2.7% for chronic lower respiratory tract diseases, 6.7% for unintentional injuries, 3.0% for stroke, 15.7% for Alzheimer's disease, 1.9% for diabetes, 1.5% for kidney disease, and 2.3% for suicide. The rate decreased by 1.7% for cancer. Age-adjusted death rates for influenza and pneumonia did not change significantly.

Dr. Cinque: So, is just a fluke, or have we topped out in life expectancy in this country? I think it’s more likely the latter. And I don’t think there is anyone more cynical than I am about Medicine. Modern Medicine, in many instances, is contributing to the death rate not the survival rate. I believe the evidence shows that many of the pharmacological interventions are shortening lives rather than lengthening them. It's certainly true of scandalous drugs like Vioxx. And whether you agree with me or not, it is nevertheless true that many medical treatments aren’t even tested for the effect they are having on longevity. For instance, take high blood pressure drugs. Has it ever been scientifically tested whether the use of anti-hypertensive drugs is prolonging lives? No, it hasn’t. They have never done a double-blind study in which a Control group received placebo pills while the test group got treated. That, they say, would be unethical, and it’s the same excuse they give for not testing vaccines. But, there is some data available concerning the widely popular statin drugs, and the evidence is clear that they are NOT prolonging lives. Here is an article about it by Scottish physician and researcher Malcolm Kendrick.


But, there are other reasons besides misguided medical practices that are causing longevity in America to stall. A major one is the rising rate of obesity, in both adults and children. Another is the rising rate of physical inactivity, in both adults and children. Smoking rates have supposedly come down to their lowest level ever, but I have to wonder how accurate the claims are. Tobacco companies seem to be doing well, and by my observations from being out in public, it seems like there are still plenty of people smoking. What say you?

In any case, the expectation that Medicine was going to continue lengthening lives indefinitely seems to be a pipe dream. And if stem cell therapy is going to change that, it certainly hasn’t happened yet. The greatest potential of Modern Medicine to prolonging lives, in my opinion, is bio-identical hormone replacement.