Medicine: Years of Grace

The span of life in the U.S. is still lengthening. Based on mortality figures for 1947 (the latest year for which statistics have been compiled), the average life expectancy of a U.S. child at birth is 66.8 years, the National Office of Vital Statistics said last week. This is almost two years greater than the average for 1939-41. White women can expect to live 70.6 years; white men, 65.2; non-white women, 61.9; non-white men, 57.9.

In 1947 there were 267,026 fewer deaths than the U.S. would have had if 1940 mortality rates had prevailed. Pneumonia and influenza suffered the sharpest defeat: penicillin...

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