Friday, March 21, 2014

Natural Selection, what if?

As I was reading a thread today about Vitamin K, I came across a comment from someone who said that, basically, if a baby has low Vitamin K levels, nature has a reason. The poster claims that things that killed babies 100 years ago were no longer a problem due to the availability of antibiotics. Her argument is incredibly ignorant. It led me to wonder, "What if we let natural selection occur?". We see some who are totally supportive of letting nature rule the roost and I can't help but wonder. Do they understand the implications of natural selection?? The old days, what were they like before our medical advances??

Way back around the turn of the century, 100 out of 1000 infants would die. 10% of infants were dying. That number is exorbitant. Now, we're at 6 out of 1000. That is .6%. With there being 4 million live births every year, if we went back 114 years in medical advances, we would have over 400,000 infants dying. FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND. We lose, roughly 2400 infants a year. TWENTY FOUR HUNDRED. Our infant mortality rate would increase over 99%. That is JUST under age 1. I haven't even touched on childhood rates (but fyi, they're pretty big too). Our rates then were on par with Somalia these days.

When we look at Stillbirths, in 1922, rates were 39.4 vs 2.95 now. That's a 92.5% improvement. We were where Nigeria is now.

In 1907, the mortality rates for children between 1 and 4 were 1418.8 out of 100,000. In 2011, that rate was 26.2. This means mortality rates for this age group have declined by 98%. Your child had a 1.4% chance of death. Those rates are on par with current day Thailand and Grenada.

In 1907, Ages 5-14 had a mortality rate of  307.5. In 2011, that rate is 13.1. This rate has declined by 95%. .3% of children within this demographic would pass away.

So, if we look at this, around 1900/1907, between birth and age 14, we would lose 11,726.3 children, 11.7% of children would die. Now, we are looking at 99.3 deaths out of 100,000 between birth and age 14. We lose .09 percent of our children yearly now. Most of the deaths we have now are within that first year with 2/3rds of them being within the first month of life. If we want to get more technical, we can remove the 2.45 motor vehicle related deaths since there were no cars around 1900. This would bring our rate down to 96.85/100,000. However, if we keep our 99.3 rates, we'll have noticed over a 99% improvement in mortality rates.

Around 1900, our maternal mortality rates were around 1 in 100. Today, it's 21 out of 100,000. There has been over a 97% decrease in maternal deaths. Congo now has the mortality rates we had back then.

In 1914, Average life expectancy for males was 52 while for us women, it was 56.8. Oddly enough, in Nigeria, the average life expectancy is where men were 100 years ago. For us women, that is a current day Congo. Woohoo.

Can anyone tell me why the good old days sound so good?? Our ancestors lived in, basically, third world conditions. Many lost their children, many women lost their lives. What in the world is so good about nature??? We now know if it's not combated, people die. I know, had I lived 100 years ago, I would not have 4 of my living children, if I had even lived to have all of them.

 
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