Further Information

The Effect of a Reduction in Leading Causes of Death: Potential Gains in Life Expectancy | Tsai SP, Lee ES, Hardy RJ
Article Published: 1978

Type: Statistical Demographic
Published By: Am J Public Health. 1978 Oct;68(10):966-71

Further Information

"The potential gains in total expectation of life and in the working life ages among the United States population are examined when the three leading causes of death are totally or partially eliminated. The impressive gains theoretically achieved by total elimination do not hold up under the more realistic assumption of partial elimination or reduction. The number of years gained by a new-born child, with a 30 per cent reduction in major cardiovascular diseases would be 1.98 years, for malignant neoplasms 0.71 years, and for motor vehicle accidents 0.21 years. Application of the same reduction to the working ages, 15 to 70 years, results in a gain of 0.43, 0.26, and 0.14 years, respectively for the three leading causes of death. Even with a scientific break-through in combating these causes of death, it appears that future gains in life expectancies for the working ages will not be spectacular. The implication of the results in relation to the current debate on the national health care policy is noted."

What does it mean? That, when applied to the entire population, statistical life prolongation under stated conditions would amount to:
Reduction by 30% of cardiovascular disease:  24 months
Reduction by 30% of melanomas: 8 months, 15 days
Reduction by 30% of traffic accidents: 2 months, 15 days

When the above is applied to the 15 to 70 years age range:
Reduction by 30% of cardiovascular disease: 5 months, 7 days
Reduction by 30% of melanomas: 3 months, 6 days
Reduction by 30% of traffic accidents: 1 month, 16 days

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