Medicine: The 65-Year-Olds

For arctic realism, the vital-statistics reports of the U.S. Bureau of Census have no rival. In a report made available last week, one lonely note of promise shivered among lowering facts: whereas in 1900 some 3,080,498 U.S. citizens lived to the age of 65, today the number is 9,019,314, and by 1980 it is estimated that double that number will reach 65, even make it past the classical three-score-and-ten.

Quick to qualify this promising note, the Census figures go on to say that in the past 44 years post-65 life expectancy has increased only slightly. Women (white) of 65 can now expect...

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