Aging and Life Span - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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Life Span and the Aging Process

How long an organism lives is called its life span. In 1998, the average life span for a human, worldwide, was sixty-six years. However, life span is a complex trait, meaning that many factors, including family history, lifestyle, disease, and residence in a developed nation, determine how long an individual's life will be. The average life span in a particular population changes as these factors change. For example, the average life span in the United States in 1900 was forty-nine; in 1998 it was seventy-seven.

This increase was likely due to several factors, but perhaps the most important was the improvement of sanitation, hygiene, and public health from 1900 to 1998. These improvements included purification of drinking water, treatment of wastewater, widespread vaccination, and improved access to health care. However, even as these sanitary measures were adopted, other elements of modern life emerged as strong...

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This section contains 1,049 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Aging and Life Span Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Aging and Life Span from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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