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How modern medicine contributed to increase life-expectancy?

Recently, I've been researching more on how medicine helps in prolonging life expectancy and improves life quality across the world.
But, I'm not particularly sure what PART of modern medicine has made the most significant impact in increasing said life expectancy.
Any thoughts?
Probaly antibiotics, vaccines and anti-viral treatments. Just for the shear amount of people they help.
Original post by SAEYINA
Recently, I've been researching more on how medicine helps in prolonging life expectancy and improves life quality across the world.
But, I'm not particularly sure what PART of modern medicine has made the most significant impact in increasing said life expectancy.
Any thoughts?

There are a lot of angles you could take on this, and you need to narrow the focus down a bit. For instance, you could talk about antibiotics and the effect they've had on infectious disease and their role in surgery. Alternatively, you could look at more chronic diseases and think about stuff like transplantation, pharmacology's role in managing long-term, chronic conditions, nuclear medicine and imaging and its role in being able to detect disease, pharmacology and its role in treating and managing condition which would once have been fatal. That's before you've even started thinking about the implications of having sequenced the human genome, CRISPR, immunotherapy...

It's a vast topic. You could write for ever about it. So pick something which interests you and focus closely on a part of that, rather than trying to be too ambitious and getting nowhere.
Statistically, it's almost certainly the reduction in infant mortality, because someone dying at age 80 rather than age 0 has a much bigger effect on the overall average than someone dying at age 80 rather than age 60.
This is a really interesting topic, as others have said. Once you remove infant mortality from the equation, studies have demonstrated that compared other periods in history, our life expectancy today may not be that much greater.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1294277/pdf/jrsocmed00089-0029.pdf
Reply 5
Original post by Reality Check
There are a lot of angles you could take on this, and you need to narrow the focus down a bit. For instance, you could talk about antibiotics and the effect they've had on infectious disease and their role in surgery. Alternatively, you could look at more chronic diseases and think about stuff like transplantation, pharmacology's role in managing long-term, chronic conditions, nuclear medicine and imaging and its role in being able to detect disease, pharmacology and its role in treating and managing condition which would once have been fatal. That's before you've even started thinking about the implications of having sequenced the human genome, CRISPR, immunotherapy...

It's a vast topic. You could write for ever about it. So pick something which interests you and focus closely on a part of that, rather than trying to be too ambitious and getting nowhere.

Do you think talking about just vaccines would be too narrow for the topic?
Reply 6
Original post by Reality Check
There are a lot of angles you could take on this, and you need to narrow the focus down a bit. For instance, you could talk about antibiotics and the effect they've had on infectious disease and their role in surgery. Alternatively, you could look at more chronic diseases and think about stuff like transplantation, pharmacology's role in managing long-term, chronic conditions, nuclear medicine and imaging and its role in being able to detect disease, pharmacology and its role in treating and managing condition which would once have been fatal. That's before you've even started thinking about the implications of having sequenced the human genome, CRISPR, immunotherapy...

It's a vast topic. You could write for ever about it. So pick something which interests you and focus closely on a part of that, rather than trying to be too ambitious and getting nowhere.

Could you explain more regarding "pharmacology and its role in treating and managing condition which would once have been fatal"? This really sounds interesting for me to write further about.
Original post by SAEYINA
Do you think talking about just vaccines would be too narrow for the topic?

Is it an EPQ (I'm presuming it is). If so, 'vaccines' as a concept certainly isn't too narrow - you could write a thousand PhD theses on vaccines and still not scratch the surface. You need to find an angle on vaccines to talk about - and preferably one that hasn't been done ad infinitum.
Original post by SAEYINA
Could you explain more regarding "pharmacology and its role in treating and managing condition which would once have been fatal"? This really sounds interesting for me to write further about.

One way you could look at that is how modern pharmacology has made certain diseases treatable and extended the patient's life. Think of diabetes and all the drugs used to treat that. Or simple hypertension. These conditions aren't (usually) instantly fatal, but gone untreated they shorten life and cause significant morbidity. If you wanted to go down the 'once would have been fatal' route, then the obvious choice would be chemotherapy. Another really good angle would be to think about drugs like antiretrovirals used to treat once fatal infectious diseases like HIV, which have in less than forty years made a fatal infection into essentially a chronic disease with a life expectancy the same as a non-infected person.
Reply 9
It's actually for a scholarship essay. I'm still applying for med school.

Original post by Reality Check
Is it an EPQ (I'm presuming it is). If so, 'vaccines' as a concept certainly isn't too narrow - you could write a thousand PhD theses on vaccines and still not scratch the surface. You need to find an angle on vaccines to talk about - and preferably one that hasn't been done ad infinitumIt's

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