The Mystery of Declining Life Expectancy

by Cameron Salisbury

In 1989-1990 the USSR’s Berlin wall came crashing down. As Western observers gloated and took credit, no one noticed that civilian life in the Soviet Union was a casualty of the upheaval. The disintegration of their government was deadly for the population.  Over the next several years, life expectancy in the former Soviet Union declined by years, so much that observers thought the numbers must be a mistake. In one year alone, between 1992 and1993, life expectancy fell by 3 years.

Declining life expectancy can signal a catastrophe. It means that something is deeply amiss in the underlying society.

Life expectancy in the U.S. has been declining slowly for several years, and now seems to be speeding up.  For the first 6 months of 2020, government data shows that a person in the U.S. can expect to live 77.6 years, a decline of an entire year from the 78.6 years of 2019.

The CDC, and it’s unquestioning mouthpiece, the U.S. mass media, has blamed the decrease in life expectancy on opioid abuse and suicide. In other words, the dead were responsible for their own demise. This year they include covid-19 deaths, although for the first half of 2020, covid-19 was just getting started, and deaths were nearly always among the elderly.  The U.S. has nearly 3 million deaths a year and a few thousand extra suicides, opioid deaths, or artificially inflated numbers of deaths among the elderly, will not move the needle. The massive decline in life expectancy has to be due to something else. Something that affects all of society. But, if the drugged, suicidal, and elderly are not responsible for declining life expectancy and something else is, things could get very messy, couldn’t they?

The more likely reason that life expectancy in the U.S. is falling is that something toxic and ongoing is happening in the culture, something buried deliberately out of site in the mortality statistics. Something like an indifferent and deadly hospital culture, as well as death dispensed with wild abandon by Big Pharma and their heavily advertised and fatal pills. Something like inattentive physicians, sometimes well meaning and sometimes not, who have trouble keeping up with FDA announcements and Big Pharma sales tactics..

The only hint of the involvement of the medical culture is the category for septicemia, or sepsis, that consistently, year after year, tallies about 40,000 deaths and shows up as the 10th or 11th cause of death.

Sepsis (blood poisoning) is a deadly blood stream infection.  The types of infection, which include MRSA and C Diff, are introduced in clinics, nursing homes, and doctor’s offices but usually in hospitals. It occurs when dirty equipment is used to give injections, vaccinate, open veins, operate, or do any other invasive procedure. There are no invasive procedures that do not expose the blood stream to potentially lethal contamination. (Despite what they want you to believe, people do not enter the hospital with sepsis they acquired at home.)

There is an astounding disconnect between deaths due to sepsis from death certificates and independent investigations that are published in medical journals.

Over and over research into hospital records shows the number of sepsis deaths many times higher than the official count from death certificates. CDC’s own investigation indicated sepsis as a cause of death of up to 380,000 annually, which would make it the third leading cause of death in the U.S. That figure doesn’t include the 15% of sepsis deaths that occur outside of hospitals, such as those in nursing homes.

Big killers contributing to the decline in life expectancy are dirty hospitals, dirty equipment and indifferent staff. When you have a chance, ask your doctor how s/he feels about controlling hospital infections. Hand washing and using sterilized equipment is entirely in the hands of the staff but the commitment comes from those in charge. Unless your doctor is adamant, find someone else. When you find yourself in a medical setting, stay on guard. Make sure no one and nothing touches you without being sterilized. Your life may depend on it.

If you need surgery, (a ‘procedure’, as they say) try to find a good doctor who uses an outpatient clinic. A privately owned outpatient surgical center gives a doctor much better control over what happens while you are sedated. The people involved in your surgery are also much more accountable. In hospitals, where a constantly fluctuating staff are constantly in and out, no one is accountable.  Which they know well.

If the same health standards applied to restaurants were applied to hospitals, few would stay open.

Death certificate data has a number of catch-all categories. Heart disease is a go-to whenever someone dies for an unknown reason, or for a reason the hospital prefers not to admit. Hypertension is another one. There are naturally occurring blood pressure increases with age. It doesn’t kill as often as they’d like you to think.

On the other hand, there are significant and tragic causes of mortality with no separate category. Such as doctor and hospital errors, pharmacy errors, and pharmaceuticals that kill when taken as prescribed.

The big one is the last: legal drugs, courtesy of the FDA, massive advertising by wealthy corporations and medical staff who remain clueless. Although illegal drugs are sometimes killers, and legal drugs may be taken illegally, prescription drugs taken as prescribed are major sources of death and destruction. While cocaine and heroin kill up to 20,000 people every year, prescription drugs kill over 100,000 annually and have life altering side effects for millions of survivors. If counted accurately, they would be the fourth leading cause of death.

Some expensive pills have no use whatever, like Vioxx before it was withdrawn, or drugs that interfere with normal physical processes and should never be prescribed, like statins.

The federal pharmaceutical guardian that we pay for with our taxes, the FDA, is well aware that some drugs are too dangerous to be prescribed. You’d think they owed it to us to withdraw them from the market and occasionally they do (Vioxx) but most of the time they simply issue a ‘black box’ warning designed to alert users that the drug is deadly, to be carried on the packaging. That means no hospitalized patient and most doctors and nurses never see it. But then, few medical staff have ever heard of a black box warning. And the drug remains on the market to be prescribed, so what difference does a warning make?

We consumers, the pharmaceutical industry’s patsies, need a working and effective FDA that is not allowed to receive cash from Big Pharma or its representatives. The legal drug culture has been called ‘a war against Americans.’

Pharmaceuticals are a major, unacknowledged, killer, and Big Pharma wants drugs to stay that way. ‘Our’ FDA just goes along. Remember that long list of side effects aired as part of every ad? They are designed to be minimized and you may think they apply to someone else .Well, they don’t. The control groups that drugs are tested on are small enough so that you can assume that every single Big Pharma guinea pig had an adverse effect to the drug in question.

The reason isn’t complicated. All drugs are poison to the human body and each body will reject the drug in it’s own way. This applies even to apparently benign over-the-counter drugs, like aspirin, naproxen (Aleve), and ibuprofen, (Advil) which, according to one study, would rank as leading causes of death if tabulated separately. Tylenol is responsible for most liver failure in the U.S.

Pharmaceuticals are not allowed to advertise in Europe and the life expectancy there, unlike the U.S., continues to increase.

But like medical errors and hospital infections, prescription drug deaths are not categorized separately, even in the unlikely event that nurses, doctors or hospitals acknowledge them.

There are excellent natural sources of healing explained throughout the internet. Only in rare circumstances do the sick have to rely on modern U.S. medicine.

The last category of possible death-dealing comes from the U.S. agriculture industry and it’s reliance on Monsanto and Dow Chemical for genetically modified and Round-Up Ready crops. No one knows the impact of blatant tampering with nature, partly because evidence shows that those companies hide the results of studies that might hurt their sales.

Some U.S. jurisdictions, and Europe, have tried to control the planting of genetically modified crops only to find themselves in an expensive legal battle with the giant, wealthy companies who are determined to thwart popular will.

Once you get into the grocery store you are presented with a smorgasbord of untested chemicals and genetically modified organisms, in nearly everything you buy. There are dyes, texturizers, preservatives, emulsifiers, and the residues of farm chemicals. Much of the fresh food has been irradiated so that you won’t get sick when food processors sell you food that isn’t clean, and ground meat is usually gassed to preserve its fresh appearance. A horrified friend recently discovered that her blood had a high level of Round-Up’s glyphosate.  What is her prognosis? Maybe Monsanto knows, but they aren’t saying.

Try always to buy organic food which by definition is unadulterated, or buy food from European processors.  In Europe, tampering with the food supply is frowned upon.

Some people might suspect that a large part of declining life expectancy is the result of America’s anything-goes capitalism.


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