In a different context, I was thinking about ‘ageing’. The difference in a person’s body shape between the ages of 5 and 15 are very pronounced. In fact, the difference is even more pronounced between the ages of 0 and 2, but let is not bother about that. We could go further, and say that the difference between 15 and 25 is pronounced, but not as much as is 5 and 15. We could extend that further and say that there is a noticeable difference between 25 and 35, but minor variations could easily produce anomalies, in that it is quite possible for a person of 25 to look 35, and vice-versa. It is easy to see that it might be impossible, on first glance, to guess the age of a person who is a bit bent and has grey hair. He might be 50 0r 80. You cannot be sure. Thus, ageing does not follow a straight line – the line is curved. In the artefact of counting the number of years that a person has lived, the ageing is precise, but, as regards the changes within a person’s body, ageing is far from precise. For some individuals, the curve of ageing can be more pronounced that for others.
Further, individuals have their own curves. Some individuals are more inclined than others to suffer catastrophic illnesses. I refer to inherent problems rather than external infections. For example, an apparently healthy young woman of, say, 30 years will suffer breast cancer and die ‘before her time’. Sad though it might be, the fact is that she did not die ‘before her time’, she died precisely at her time.
But the general axiom is true – when we are young, rapid changes in our physiognomy occur, but as we age the changes slow down. I would defy anyone to say whether a person is 75, 85 or 95. There may be a big difference between them in terms of numerical years of existence, but little difference in terms of appearance or sprightliness.
Is it not therefore reasonable to say that the probability of, say, a heart attack, becomes more and more diffused as people age? The older people become, the less difference there is in health terms between them. Thus, generally speaking, a 60 year old is much the same as an 80 year old. I hope that people understand what I mean. I mean that. physiologically, an 80 year old could have the body of a 60 year old, and a 60 year old could have the body of a 80 year old in specific aspects. We ought not then be surprised that people around those ages die in a fairly random way, for random reasons.
One of the weird things about National Statistics about Mortality is the expectation that everyone might live infinitely, if it were not for some ‘disease’. No one any more just dies because their bodies are old and exhausted. All must die from a disease. That idea makes things worse since it deflects attention from ageing and transfers it to disease.
Has anyone ever seen a study on ageing? I suppose that there have been lots of them. I know of one in particular which showed that 90 year olds were as likely to have smoked as be non-smokers.
It makes no sense to assume that smoking acts like some sort of miasma which drains into certain individuals and gives them LC while dodging other smokers.
It is time that Governments rejected the Medical Profession’s and Big Pharma’s visualisation that ‘one size fits all’.
There is no such thing as ‘the standard human being’