A year after the first U.S. coronavirus deaths, UCLA sociologist Patrick Heuveline reports on the dramatic impact
As a demographer — someone who studies how human populations grow and change — UCLA professor of sociology Patrick Heuveline typically spends time each year traveling around the world, talking to people about their hopes for their families and their dreams for the future.
“Demography is obviously all about numbers — but at its core, it’s about people’s lives,” he said.
A big part of understanding demographics is understanding mortality, which is why in 2020 Heuveline’s research took on a grim new reality. He began tracking worldwide COVID-19 deaths and interpreting what those numbers mean to overall life expectancy.
April marks a somber milestone in the pandemic: one year since the U.S. recorded its first COVID-19–related deaths. As of the end of March, more than 2.8 million around the world, including more than 550,000 Americans, have died of causes related to COVID-19.
It appears from this chart in The Economist that we here in America are spending more on healthcare than any place else in the world, but not getting our money’s worth. Life expectancy in the other countries dwarfs that in the U.S.
Americans smoke less than people in other wealthy countries do, but we have higher rates of obesity and infant mortality.
I have been writing this blog since March of 2010, so I just completed my ninth year. It started out as just another weight loss blog, but has since morphed into a general health and longevity publication. Interesting how things develop. Over the course of those nine plus years, I have made many friends and acquaintances on the web as a direct result of these posts. One of those friends is Paul Hanover who writes Learning from Dogs a thoughtful treatise on life in general and dogs in particular. Whether you are a dog lover or not, it is worth a visit.
Paul sent me this life expectancy calculator after my recent post on my oral surgery last week. It is a really useful tool on how well you are doing in terms of living a long and healthy life. Just click on it for a quick, but thorough calculation. Good luck!
Here is my result:
Your predicted future healthy years is 17.4 Years
Your Relative Healthy Life Expectancy is about 143.8% above Average
Your predicted future unhealthy years is 3.4 Years
Your predicted future total years of living is 20.8 Years i.e. Your predicted age at death is 79 + 20.8 (Current Age + Life Expectancy) = 99.8 Years
Your predicted future unhealthy years, if disabled by a cognitive disease, is 4.8 Years How does my lifestyle affect my Healthy Life Expectancy?
You are doing a great job exercising, keep up the great work
At the moment your BMI is looking good, but make sure you keep an eye on it
By sleeping more each night you can increase your healthy life expectancy by 8.14% which is about 17.0 months
Your alcohol consumption has little effect on your healthy life expectancy
Not smoking has a positive impact on your healthy life expectancy
“If the body be feeble, the mind will not be strong.” Aug 27, 1786 From a letter by Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), one of America’s forefathers lived to be 84 years old with little illness in his lifetime. Prior to 1800 the average life expectancy was 45 years old. By the time children were in their teens, they had lost both grandparents. Jefferson said of exercise, “You should spend at least two hours a day on bodily exercise. However, if you should decide not to, you will someday spend two hours a day taking care of your disease.”
Jefferson was way ahead of his time in realizing the link between body and mind. He felt that the mind as well as the body should be exercised. He wrote his fifteen year old daughter: “It is your future happiness that interests me, and nothing can contribute more to it than the contracting a habit of industry and activity. Of all the cankers of human happiness none corrodes with so silent, yet so baneful a tooth, as indolence. Body and mind both unemployed, our being becomes a burden, and every object about us loathsome, even the dearest. Idleness begets ennui, ennui the hypochondria, and that a diseased body. Exercise and application produce order in our affairs, health of body, cheerfulness of mind, and these make us precious to our friends.”(Emphasis mine.)
To a nephew he wrote, “In order to progress well in your studies, you must take at least two hours a day to exercise; for health must not be sacrificed to learning…Walking is very important. Never think of taking a book with you. The object of walking is to relax the mind. You should therefore not permit yourself even to think while you walk; but divert yourself by the objects surrounding you. Walking is the best possible exercise.”