Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed. It is caused by a bacterial microorganism, the tubercle bacillus or Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although TB can be treated, cured, and can be prevented if persons at risk take certain drugs, scientists have never come close to wiping it out. Few diseases have caused so much distressing illness for centuries and claimed so many lives.
The most recent life table for the United States published by NCHS provides estimates of life expectancy at 50 in that are approximately 0. International comparisons of various measures of self-reported health and biological markers of disease reveal similar patterns of U.
InBanks and colleagues reported that the U. For every disease the authors studied, Americans across the socioeconomic distribution reported a higher disease burden: Furthermore, the design of the study strongly suggested that the American health disadvantage could not be explained simply by reference to problems associated with an inefficient health care system, the lack of universal health care coverage, or large racial and socioeconomic disparities in the United States.
Moreover, subsequent analyses have found no significant reason to doubt the basic underlying finding that the burden of disease in America is much higher than that in many other countries Avendano et al.
The relatively poor performance of the United States with respect to achieved life expectancy in the recent past is perhaps all the more surprising in light of the fact that the United States spends far more on health care than any other nation in the world, both absolutely and as a percentage of gross national product.
Motivated by these concerns, the National Institute on Aging requested that the National Research Council convene a panel of leading experts to clarify patterns in the levels and trends in life expectancy across nations, to examine the evidence on competing explanations for the divergence among nations, and to identify strategic opportunities for health-related interventions to reduce this divergence.
Specifically, the panel was charged with addressing three questions: What accounts for the different trends in mortality at older ages that have been observed in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD countries?
What are the likely implications of these trends for the future trajectory of mortality at older ages in the United States? What can be learned about modifiable risk factors from countries where mortality at older ages has improved most rapidly in the last quarter century?
In addressing its charge, the panel confronted a large and burgeoning theoretical and empirical literature encompassing contributions from virtually every field within the social and health sciences.
To deal with this vast body of work, the panel commissioned a set of background papers, each dealing with a specific topic relevant to the panel's charge. On the one hand, pessimists believed that deaths above age 80 were due to problems associated with senescence and intractable aging processes.
Consequently, increases in longevity beyond age 85 or so were unlikely to be achievable without fundamental biomedical breakthroughs that would affect those processes themselves Fries, ; Lohman et al.
On the other hand, optimists believed that continued improvements in life expectancy were to be expected and that the official population projections of the time were too conservative see, for example, Ahlburg and Vaupel, A lack of reliable and internationally comparable data initially limited demographers' ability to study patterns of mortality and morbidity at advanced ages Jeune and Vaupel, In the United States, for example, demographers have long been wary of using mortality data at older ages because of concerns about the quality of the data and the validity of age reporting Coale and Kisker,; Preston et al.
The coverage of the U. Once reliable data on mortality at advanced ages began to be assembled and analyzed, demographers discovered that levels of mortality at advanced ages in many countries had declined significantly between the s and the s see, for example, Kannisto, ; Kannisto et al.
Rather than slowing down, which is what might be expected if life expectancy were approaching some biological or practical limit, the rate of mortality improvement showed little relationship to the level of old-age mortality Kannisto et al. Although the debate on the limit to human life expectancy continues see Christensen et al.
Infor example, Manton and Vaupel assembled evidence showing that, for people aged 80 and above, life expectancy was greater in the United States than it was in Sweden, France, England, or Japan, at least until Manton and Vaupel, Similarly, Janssen and colleagues reported a large degree of heterogeneity in the pace of mortality decline at old ages among various European countries Janssen et al.
While mortality declines were strong in France and England and Wales in the s and s, the authors found modest or no mortality declines in the Nordic countries. Finally, Rau and colleagues identified Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United States as the countries with the smallest mortality improvements.
The United States, once a leader in longevity, particularly with respect to mortality at the oldest ages, has been falling further and further behind other countries Rau et al. To examine trends in life expectancy, the panel chose to rely on data available from the Human Mortality Database http: This database, established in as a collaborative research project of teams of scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research MPIDR in Rostock, Germany, contains raw data and original calculations of death rates and life tables for national populations by single year of age and single year of time.
This chapter presents the panel's analysis of data from 22 countries for which the data were considered to be of sufficiently high quality.
Gender Differences in Trends in Life Expectancy Women on average live longer than men, so it is natural to explore the extent to which any improvements in life expectancy among countries vary by gender.
More recently, however, other authors have emphasized the importance of looking at men as well see, for example, Murray and Frenk,who point out the relatively poor performance in life expectancy for U.
The panel examined trends in life expectancy at birth by year for men and women in the United States and compared them with trends for 21 other high-income countries with good data see Figures and The analysis was restricted to the recent past, defined by the panel as the period to While this is a significant achievement, it is less than the average rate of change for the other 21 countries shown in the figure.
Consequently, the series of dots representing the progress of U.TUBERCULOSIS was the leading cause of death in the United States during the nineteenth century, responsible at times for as many as one of every four deaths.
The labor history of the United States describes the history of organized labor, US labor law, and more general history of working people, in the United States.
Beginning in the s, unions became important components of the Democratic Party. However, some historians have not understood why no Labor Party emerged in the United States, in contrast to Western Europe.
The list of United States hurricanes includes all tropical cyclones officially recorded to have produced sustained winds of greater than 74 mph ( km/h) in the United States, which is the minimum threshold for hurricane intensity. CIVIL WAR MEMORIALS AND MONUMENTS. Hundreds of monuments were erected in the decades following the American Civil War, – They stand in small county seats and rural cemeteries across the eastern United States as well as on New York's Fifth Avenue, Richmond's Monument Avenue, the Boston Common, and Arlington National Cemetery.
Their complexity and variety are testimony to . In the fifty-year span –, the emphasis shifted from mourning and bereavement to reconciliation and celebration. BEREAVEMENT AND FUNEREAL ERA, – The practical necessity of retrieving, identifying, and burying the dead occasioned memorials in the first three decades after the war.
During , the United States became more and more closely allied with those fighting Germany and Japan. At Roosevelt's urging, Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act, which authorized military aid so long as countries promised somehow to return it all after the war.