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    How We Die: Now vs. 100 Years Ago

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    The New England Journal Medicine recently explored how the major causes of death have changed over the past century.

    Recently, the New England Journal of Medicine took a stroll down memory lane and reviewed 200 years of past issues, beginning with the first one published in 1812.

    Among the many things that are intriguing about the subject matter located within the volume is how different the major causes of death were then as opposed to now.

    For example, by 2010 heart problems claimed the most lives of any other singular affliction. Cancer followed closely behind.

    Around 1900 on the other hand, those conditions while still listed were not the top causes of fatalities.

    Then, people were far more likely to succumb to illnesses of the contagious variety.

    The dawn of the 20th-century was rife with cases of influenza and tuberculosis.

    Gastrointestinal infections also claimed a great number of casualties.

    Modern medicine has lessened the instances of those killers over the years, but a list of new illnesses has taken their place.

    In addition to heart issues and cancer, deaths resulting from Alzheimers, diabetes, and respiratory ailments have surged.

    Experts at the Journal note, however, that assessing the true impact of any adverse health condition has as much to do with exploring social factors as it does with science.