While there has been much progress on finding new treatments, their scope has been limited to new and creative ways of suppressing the immune system. There are a multitude of theories which attempt to explain the causes of autoimmune diseases, but we seem to be quite far from truly understanding them.
- Autoimmune issues (especially allergies)
- Obesity (particularly in children) and diabetes
- Depression, ADD, and similar disorders
My personal impression is that the rise of mental conditions is an increase in diagnosis, not occurrence. An awful lot of people who, just a few decades ago, would have been dismissed as lazy, stupid, whiny, or the all-purpose "crazy" are actually starting to receive recognition and treatment. That's a good thing.
Robert Whitaker  has looked into the matter, and proposes that standard treatments take an episodic disease and make it chronic.
 Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America - http://www.madinamerica.com/product/62043/
My step-brother hates what his psychiatrists did to him. He stopped taking their drugs, and is rather normal now.
The body adjusts to compensate for the activity of the drug in the body, so the original problem frequently gets worse if the drug is taken away suddenly. There are strategies for helping people get off psychotropic drugs, but I don't think they cover this in psychiatrists' training programs.
> You can't generalize from one data point.
I don't know anything about my step brother, other than that my mom mentioned that he'd gotten himself off the pills. It might've taken him a while.
Do you have a source for this? It goes against much I've read myself recently—for instance, depression has strong links to inflammation—perhaps shitty diets and no exercise are catching up to people.
In reading up on the histories of various classical composers, for instance, several of them appear to have suffered regularly from depressive orders (a very definitive example is Sergei Rachmaninoff). A few of them such as Erik Satie and Anton Bruckner appear to be afflicted with what we now know as OCD. Can we definitively diagnose, though? No, we only have reports to go off of.
Heck, we're still pretty fuzzy with the diagnosis and root cause of some of these mental conditions now. (See: the definition of Aspergers)
(link in czech - sorry. First image, brown line is relative suicidal rate that is probably a good metric for comparison.)
Basically, you have to watch someone like a hawk when they first go on antidepressants until they get over the hurdle and start feeling good again.
Now, biological evolution has been replaced by "social evolution". A trait of physically debilitating condition, that is treatable, is no longer a reproduction fullstop. Those genes carry on. What genes will peter out are the absence of skills that are employable and not being able to find a partner because of that. Of course this is simplifying it to a large extent.
The human population will drop over the next millenia. Whether that is because of waterwars, lack of food, natural calamities, or space colonisation is left as an exercise for the future generations.
It's like a stock phrase: "Smoking is actually going down, you know! People really are getting smarter/healthier/happier/whatever."
It's just false.
This is from Bryan Page's "Comprehending Drug Use." It's a textbook but it's accurate, well-cited, and well-written.
It's an awful cycle. It's possible that a system built on nurturance and development, one that empowered people with a wide array of tools including compassion and self-realization, would produce corporate leaders who could themselves balance multiple constructive ends. Imagine if the mega-corps who routinely disenfranchise poor communities and third world countries not only sought money and power, growth and impact, but also felt internally compelled to be accountable, admit mistakes, build constructive non-manipulative and non-bullying relationships, empower others when possible, and respect others when not possible even when taking care of oneself, etc.
I'm a big fan of free-will and independence and no human having more authority than another, but I also see a huge importance in nurturing and developing children to bear those responsibilities constructively, for example free from low self esteem and arrogance, and rich with curiousity, support networks, courage and inventiveneess. Unfortunately, nurturing, developing and supporting others are tasks that are largely seen as "feminine" and therefore economically unimportant (stay at home parents are free labor, and teachers, nannies, etc earn very little money, and research in those areas is similarly seen as lesser science to math and engineering). These professions are often shunned by those needing to defend their "masculinity", and in fact nurturance and emotional support is often required of women and people of color as free labor (the classic "mother" and "grandmother" and "POC friend" role). So it's a strange world we live in, where corporations are seen as people under the law, and are of course directed by people in charge, and yet we keep the bar very low for how mature and capable these people-corporations are.
At least in Brazil, smoking rate is much lower than what it was by then.
The world is finite, if you are pushed out of enough places, it's game over. All the poor and developing countries together sill don't have as much buying power as the developed countries. If you take the developing countries out, what's left isn't much of a market anymore.
Except Japan when selling tobacco is still a very healthy business and there is no cancer prevention whatsoever. Lobby has been super effective down here.
Are more people gettin appropriate levels of exercise? Average fitness levels are in steep decline (mainly due to obesity) I thought.
What affect started in 1992,1993 that is still happening today?
Crime dropped significantly, and is on the low-medium end in European Union, from high-end in early nineties.
So I think abortion is irrelevant, and it's mostly lead and general quality of life issues.
- People have become more aware of the risk factors, and behave accordingly. Awareness would be connected to prevalence but have a lagged effect.
- Deadly diseases cause evolutionary responses. Perhaps a disproportionate number of people with predisposition to these illnesses passed away before having offspring.
- Reporting bias? While an illness looms large in the minds of the medical community, doctors are more likely to either wrongly attribute to the illness (false positive), or do false negatives less often.
- Highly speculative: combined effects are non-linear. I don't know what they use to do these studies, but typically you hear something along the lines of "for every x, there's m*x effect", which makes things sounds nice and linear. Maybe better prevention and better treatment does better than either on its own summed up, and so you won't be able to find the "reason" by splitting into each feature.
I wonder how this could be properly measured. My impression based on rising obesity rates and decrease in overall physical activity levels is that we are terrible at making sacrifices in the present for our future self.
Sure, we all avoid trans-fats, leaded fuel, and other similar choices; but all of these are largely forced on the entire population.
- better home heating (less open fires, more heated bedrooms)
- increased time from atmospheric nuclear bomb testing (and the various dispersals of plutonium in the 60's and 70's)
- better nutrition in general
- higher genetic diversity in breeding populations; not many peoples grandparents all come from the same village in the developed world now
- less pollution in the west; import of finished goods rather than local manufacturing
Ambient radioactivity, under a certain threshold (which is disputed) has actually shown some positive effects. If I remember correctly, folks living in naturally more radioactive areas have been showing lower cancer rates vs the average.
TL,DR: Many apartments in Taiwan were radioactive, because the steel in the structure had been mixed in with 60Co. Residents got big doses of gamma rays. And yet they didn't get much cancer! It turns out that no, gamma rays are not good for you; rather, most residents were young, biasing the sample (few young people get cancer). The study didn't account for this bias.
Those were crazy days! The Tsar Bomba. What was the world thinking?
Gasoline, lead, poor living conditions on the other hand all have well proven links with bad health.
It's called radiation hormesis. Though I don't think there's a scientific consensus on this issue.
>Until the late 1930s, stomach cancer was
>the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths in the
While gastric cancer is declining, it is still the most common cancer in Korea. Past studies have yielded conflicting results as to whether a salty diet causes gastric cancer, though most found an association between salt use and gastric cancer.
Here's another piece of information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator
The introduction of Freon in the 1920s expanded the refrigerator market during the 1930s. Home freezers as separate compartments (larger than necessary just for ice cubes) were introduced in 1940.
"Compared to acetic acid, [lactic acid's] pKa is 1 unit less, meaning lactic acid deprotonates ten times more easily than acetic acid does. This higher acidity is the consequence of the intramolecular hydrogen bonding between the α-hydroxyl and the carboxylate group."
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactic_acid (emphasis added)
Edit: Also, the U.S. banned asbestos in 1989. That's the turning point of the graph.
death is a bad stat to look at; incidents would be more useful
I wonder how this correlates not with tobacco smoking, but especially with smoking of factory-made cigarettes? Because as I understand those contain virtually no tobacco and you end up smoking garden fertilizer-soaked paper.
And actually that is the crux of the article: it's not that doctors aren't thinking of possibilities to explain the reduction in disease, they just don't know for sure which of the possibilities they are.
Basically, if we've thought of a possibility in the last 20 minutes since reading the article (or headline), a doctor has probably already thought of it, too.
I believe swelling is typically caused by individual cells or tissues (or even pockets in the body) building up fluids of one kind or another. Unfortunately cancer can cause this kind of swelling when your liver and/or kidneys shut down. Source: My mom died of breast cancer, and things were not pleasant near the end.
If OP is talking about systemic inflammation...then there may be a link between the two, but it's certainly not the only cause. 
Statins reduce risk of death in proportion to their reduction of LDL cholesterol, so most likely this effect is a consequence of decreased LDL cholesterol.
You should also take a look at the latest risk calculator derived from the Framingham Heart Study. It's basically a multivariate regression of various risk factors against CVD risk. Total cholesterol and HDL are inputs, while trigs and LDL aren't used. They do of course factor into total cholesterol, but the researchers specifically stated that "The use of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol did not improve model fit or performance."
Anacetrapib is still in stage III trials so it's too early to consider the concept a failure, but I think the bad results so far are evidence that hyperlipidemia is a symptom not a cause of cardiovascular disease, and that statins have some mechanism of action beyond just modifying cholesterol levels (eg. anti-inflammatory, as some people have suggested).
Cause A results in hyperlipidemia.
Cause B results in hyperlipidemia.
Cause C results in hyperlipidemia and arterial plaques.
Cause D results in hyperlipidemia.
Multiple agents that reduce cholesterol, including ezetemibe and statins, reduce cardiovascular disease outcomes and death.
Multiple cholesterol-related genes, including HMGCR, LDLR, APOB, PCSK9, and ANGPTL3, contain variants which influence both LDL cholesterol and the risk for coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, and death.
And Mendelian randomization studies that rely upon a dose-response relationship between genes that influence cholesterol and the cardiovascular outcomes that they cause have also demonstrated a link between genetically driven cholesterol levels and hard endpoints.
So, one set of drugs (CETP inhibitors) that don't seem to follow the story are more likely to be the exception, rather than the rule. Interesting biology awaits us in the explanation of why the CETP inhibitors don't do what we imagined they would with hard outcomes.
Only in small selected populations.
Dr. Peter Attia provides an excellent summary of the topic here:
Type II is insulin resistance. Which is probably caused by our industrial diet and maybe other factors. The rate is increasing dramatically.
Type I is an autoimmune disease. I think it's not increasing. (no idea)
The reasons are unknown:
I hope you're not a doctor!
As someone who's seen her grandparents suffer with a cacophony of diseases right before death? Sometimes, one thing really DOES lead to another.
Tobacco is already pretty harmful.
> Chew is full of fiberglass
No, it isn't.
Smoking coats the lungs with a layer of tar and heavy, chronic smokers have coated their lungs to such an extent where there is drastically reduced lung area in contact with
the environment (and irritants/allergens). The tar acts like a shield in this case and prevents immune response that can lead to constriction in the lungs and phlegm production.
Moreover, active smokers have destroyed the cilia in their lungs (which start to regenerate when one quits smoking)
and it's the cilia that do most of the cleaning and phlegm
expulsion. When one quits smoking, he goes through weeks or months of coughing and increased phlegm production as the cilia start growing back.
Finally, a lot of active (and ex) smokers do cough up phlegm. The co-factors of phlegm production are simply too many for a definite answer. You also have asthmatics and those who suffer from COPD/emphysema.
On another note, I wonder if the probiotic trend is going to pay off. We'll see in 20, 30 years I guess