U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-15-2017, 12:42 AM
 
Location: England
24,849 posts, read 6,184,468 times
Reputation: 30437

Advertisements

I had an emergency appendix operation when I was 18 years old. I guess 150 years ago I would have died.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-15-2017, 07:16 AM
 
1,184 posts, read 480,826 times
Reputation: 1937
Not that this applies to me, but there are a lot of non-issues today that would have been lethal long ago. In addition to pregnancy, farm accidents, untreated heart disease, diabetes, dental issues, and appendicitis, you can add most any disease that is currently controlled by antibiotics or vaccines such as tuberculosis, syphilis, smallpox, diphtheria, yellow fever, tetanus, and polio, or ones rare today because of improved hygiene such as dysentery, typhoid fever, and cholera. And procedures like colonoscopies have notably reduced the number of colon and rectal cancer cases. A simple cut could get infected back then and lead to gangrene or blood poisoning. Heck, even undergoing surgery of any type before adoption of sanitary precautions was a huge risk. Plus there is the use of supposed medical cures, such as mercury, which did nothing and were in fact lethal on their own.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-15-2017, 09:56 AM
 
12,038 posts, read 5,146,469 times
Reputation: 18884
Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
Not that this applies to me, but there are a lot of non-issues today that would have been lethal long ago. In addition to pregnancy, farm accidents, untreated heart disease, diabetes, dental issues, and appendicitis, you can add most any disease that is currently controlled by antibiotics or vaccines such as tuberculosis, syphilis, smallpox, diphtheria, yellow fever, tetanus, and polio, or ones rare today because of improved hygiene such as dysentery, typhoid fever, and cholera. And procedures like colonoscopies have notably reduced the number of colon and rectal cancer cases. A simple cut could get infected back then and lead to gangrene or blood poisoning. Heck, even undergoing surgery of any type before adoption of sanitary precautions was a huge risk. Plus there is the use of supposed medical cures, such as mercury, which did nothing and were in fact lethal on their own.
Yet with all that said, once you got past childhood many people still lived long lives. You need to keep in mind that some of these things were not nearly as common 150 years ago such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer which kills the majority of the population today at a relatively young age. Many of the things people die of today are due to a bad diet and obesity and lack of activity which 150 years ago, people didn't engage in. How many people today live the majority of their lives sitting in an office chair or in front of a TV set or computer and even rarely venture outdoors except to take the trash out and then need bi-pass surgery at about 50 years old? People back then didn't go to nursing homes to extend their lives another 5-10 years either. They weren't kept alive through extreme measures and one could argue about the quality of life of an elder back then living at home with family as opposed to now, living in a nursing home hanging on by a thread and for what purpose?
The vast majority of people 150 years ago did not die of things such as dysentery, cholera and yellow fever. Many of those things mostly happened in times of war.
I'm not saying people today don't generally live longer, but you need to keep it in perspective. Once you survived childhood, you had a pretty good chance of living a normal long life even 150 years ago. I can trace my family tree back to the to mid 1800's and most died between the ages of 65 to 90. And none of them lived near a top notch medical center or any medical center at all.

Last edited by marino760; 10-15-2017 at 10:42 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-15-2017, 12:09 PM
 
1,184 posts, read 480,826 times
Reputation: 1937
Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
Yet with all that said, once you got past childhood many people still lived long lives. You need to keep in mind that some of these things were not nearly as common 150 years ago such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer which kills the majority of the population today at a relatively young age. Many of the things people die of today are due to a bad diet and obesity and lack of activity which 150 years ago, people didn't engage in. How many people today live the majority of their lives sitting in an office chair or in front of a TV set or computer and even rarely venture outdoors except to take the trash out and then need bi-pass surgery at about 50 years old? People back then didn't go to nursing homes to extend their lives another 5-10 years either. They weren't kept alive through extreme measures and one could argue about the quality of life of an elder back then living at home with family as opposed to now, living in a nursing home hanging on by a thread and for what purpose?
The vast majority of people 150 years ago did not die of things such as dysentery, cholera and yellow fever. Many of those things mostly happened in times of war.
I'm not saying people today don't generally live longer, but you need to keep it in perspective. Once you survived childhood, you had a pretty good chance of living a normal long life even 150 years ago. I can trace my family tree back to the to mid 1800's and most died between the ages of 65 to 90. And none of them lived near a top notch medical center or any medical center at all.
A few things:

-we're all going to die eventually anyway, and I'd prefer to decrease my likely death options. And virtually eliminating things like appendicitis, smallpox, typhoid, and tuberculosis as options are okay by me. Am thinking it increases my chances of living longer.

-it would be interesting to see what the numbers actually are regarding life expectancy now and a couple hundred years ago -- both overall and controlling for reaching a certain age. My unscientific guess at least, based on looking at tombstone dates at different old cemeteries over the years, suggests a lot of people died younger in the pre-20th century. But hard numbers would be ideal.

-can you provide any documentation that dysentery, cholera, and yellow fever mostly happened in times of war? Water supply contamination was usually to blame for the first two, and rampant mosquito problems (especially in warm areas) were to blame for the latter, neither of which strike me as necessarily war-dependent. And both issues seem to have been common pre-20th century, war or no. Since clean water supplies and mosquito counter-measures have become more frequent, these diseases have declined.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-15-2017, 12:48 PM
 
3,196 posts, read 1,817,939 times
Reputation: 8438
Definitely would have died at age 7 from a blood infection if I wouldn't have been given massive antibiotics when I was. Also would have died from amazingly high blood pressure in my late 40's without medication.

Other than that, there is no way to know how many minor infections may have turned deadly or at least debilitating without modern antiseptics and antibiotics. My great-grandmother died as a young woman in 1913 from an infection that started as a pimple on her nose.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-15-2017, 12:57 PM
 
10,373 posts, read 9,394,725 times
Reputation: 15981
Quote:
Originally Posted by bachslunch View Post
Not that this applies to me, but there are a lot of non-issues today that would have been lethal long ago. In addition to pregnancy, farm accidents, untreated heart disease, diabetes, dental issues, and appendicitis, you can add most any disease that is currently controlled by antibiotics or vaccines such as tuberculosis, syphilis, smallpox, diphtheria, yellow fever, tetanus, and polio, or ones rare today because of improved hygiene such as dysentery, typhoid fever, and cholera. And procedures like colonoscopies have notably reduced the number of colon and rectal cancer cases. A simple cut could get infected back then and lead to gangrene or blood poisoning. Heck, even undergoing surgery of any type before adoption of sanitary precautions was a huge risk. Plus there is the use of supposed medical cures, such as mercury, which did nothing and were in fact lethal on their own.
Excellent posting! Living in 1867 presented a myriad of medical conditions for which there weren't cures.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-15-2017, 01:09 PM
 
Location: equator
3,462 posts, read 1,543,057 times
Reputation: 8610
If you lived on a farm, and escaped farm accidents, you probably had a good chance of living to a ripe old age. The deadliest outbreaks of cholera, etc. were due largely to lack of sanitation in crowded cities.


Living rural was a lot healthier.


People did expect to lose children in those days. I read that parents did not get all that close to their children for that reason. Like someone else said, you lost a child and carried on. My grandparents lost 2 of their 8 and we never even knew about it until they were gone.


And yes, many of our "modern" diseases did not even exist back then---makes you think.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-15-2017, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
25,068 posts, read 23,960,691 times
Reputation: 30985
Quote:
Originally Posted by A1eutian View Post
I had scarlet fever when I was 4. It was caught in the early stages when it was just a rash and treated with a course of antibiotics.
My father had that when he was a boy. He missed a year of school.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-15-2017, 01:48 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,871 posts, read 18,888,113 times
Reputation: 33801
I don't know. I could have caught polio or smallpox if it hadn't been for vaccinations. More of a problem would have been no eyeglasses and no dentists.

As I look back on my family history, there was one family that lost all their children except one when they were only babies. And that baby grew up and died of a heart attack at age 27. He already had three kids, thank goodness. Other causes of death were struck by lightening--(people were outside a lot more than we are)--and drowning by falling through the ice or the boat capsizing. Nothing today could have saved those who had the fatal accidents in which they died nearly immediately.

Some people lived to very old age and probably used herbs and other plant remedies. I think probably some of the remedies were superior to the prescription medicines we have today. I have had some health issues caused by medications and their side effects.
__________________
my posts as moderator will be in red. Moderator: Health&Wellness~Genealogy. The Rules--read here>>> TOS. If someone attacks you, do not reply. Hit REPORT.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-15-2017, 02:12 PM
 
12,038 posts, read 5,146,469 times
Reputation: 18884
I don't think there are any real statistics as there are too many things to factor in as far as life expectancy goes. My only point is that 150 years ago many people did live long lives as the Founding Fathers proved that they did when you look at how many lived well into their 60s, 70s and 80s. People generally didn't die of old age and diseases at 40-50 as many people today believe they did.
Of course people live longer today but how much of that is due to having their lives extended living in nursing homes when the quality of life at that point is questionable.
It would be interesting to see what the statistics would be once you are out of childhood now compared to 150 years ago.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top