Does Medicine Help Us Live Longer?

Posted on April 20, 2020 by Conner-Bowman Funeral Home under funeral home
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Preplanning funerals is a Roanoke, VA funeral service that should be among the top 10 things on your to-do list. While modern medicine keeps holding out the promise that it can stall or even eliminate – someday – death and funerals, the reality is that you are – someday – going to die.

Roanoke, VA funeral service

Preplanning your funeral will take some of the practical burdens of your death – making funeral arrangements, including planning visitations, funeral services, and final dispositions – off your family and will enable them to focus on grieving your loss. It’s one of the greatest gifts we all can leave for our loved ones when we die.

The stunning advances in medicine since the 1950’s, which has paralleled the technological revolution that has drastically changed the capabilities of examining the human body, diagnosing diseases at their micro-level, and developing new ways to treat diseases, have been accompanied by promises of longer life, or, possibly in the future, no death at all.

Part of the reason that the idea of longer life is so appealing to us is that death is so unappealing to us. We live, and indeed have been taught both in primary and secondary education, with the idea that many people who’ve preceded us lived incredibly short lives.

However, the history of human life spans parallels the same hills and valleys we see everywhere else in our universe. While there have been periods of time where the median lifespan was 30 years, there have also been periods of time where lifespans were calculated in centuries instead of years.

Our average lifespan today is actually on the low end of lifespans in the history of the human race, with an average age of death in the United States of about 79 years old. So, with all the marvels of modern medicine, the lifespans of humans is not significantly higher than that of previous recent generations.


In part, the answer lies in offsetting factors. While medicine has advanced in diagnosis and treatment of disease, our lifestyles have led to higher rates of disease. Heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes are common diseases that lead to death. Much of our modern diet is to blame for that.

As we’ve become more sedentary than previous generations and we depend more on fast food and processed food than on made-from-scratch meals with fresh and healthy ingredients, we suffer the effects in higher rates of coronary disease, high blood pressure (leading to strokes), and blood sugar issues.

So, instead of living longer, healthier lives with the medical advances that have been made, we are living unhealthier lives than ever before and are living about the same amount of time, if not less (the opioid crisis has had a real affect on the length of life in the United States), as before the new discoveries, techniques, and procedures were developed.

Another factor that medicine can’t overcome is the environmental impact on mortality. As the quality of our air, our water, and even the soil that we grow food on has become more polluted, our lifespans have been dramatically affected. There is nothing in medicine that can keep up with the toxicity that we drink, we eat, and we breathe every day.

For information on preplanning a Roanake, VA funeral service, our compassionate and experienced staff at Conner-Bowman Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help. You can come by our funeral home at 62 Virginia Market Place Dr., Rocky Mount, VA, 24151 or you can contact us today at (540) 334-5151.

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