BOSTON, MA - Elderly people are at greater risk of dying suddenly from any number of terrifying diseases, that’s according to a landmark study just released today by the Department of Understanding Health (DUH) in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Researchers followed 30,000 patients over the age of 80 for a period of twenty years, and found a significant increase in mortality rates, especially as the participants got older.
The scientists checked their findings against data from a census study that showed people aged 80 or above died at an approximate rate of several thousand per day, and that there was a subsequent increase in the death rate as each year passed. An alarming statistic, say researchers.
The paper concluded that the older one gets, the higher the certainty of dying from some kind of horrible and debilitating illness.
Cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers, cancer, diabetes, and a myriad of other health-related problems are just some of the awful afflictions associated with an ageing population.
Jan Niederberger, who headed the study, said their research shows that way too many elderly people are dying of age-related diseases but, unfortunately, there's nothing they can really do about it. "We know from other studies that there was always an increase in deaths as people got older, but the longevity factor has not decreased this phenomenon and, in fact, only seems to worsen it. That’s a problem”, he said.
And that’s bad news for those hoping to live longer.
Indeed, the obsession with living longer has pervaded western culture like a vampiric plague, but the inescapable fact is that the longer one stays alive, the greater the probability of being diagnosed with any number of unfairly cruel and nasty infirmities.
But there is hope. Researchers say prevention is the key.
For example, people could start smoking and drinking or doing hardcore drugs, if they haven’t already done so. Engaging in unsafe sex or eating a junk food only diet are also viable options. Anything to mitigate living long enough to become a wrinkled, drooling, babbling old bed-ridden coot, writhing in pain and agony.
In other words, don't get old. Easier said than done with meddling doctors helping people live longer on average.
To help avoid the inevitable misery, the researchers suggest people stop obsessing about their health and start the self-destructive habits now. They point out that the actions you take today can help forestall the impending doom surely heading your way.
Huifen Zhi Shen, who contributed to the study concurred adding that, “You can take any number of proactive measures to try and live longer, like exercising and eating right, but what's the point, as all you're doing is prolonging the inescapable crumbling and rotting decay of the physical body. At least that’s what the data shows.”
Critics of the study however, contend that its not the quantity of life, but the quality that really matters. “It’s not about how long you live, but how well you live that matters. Exercising and eating right, and refraining from abusing your body are just common sense ways to live vibrantly and healthy, and stay young even well into old age”, said Lucy Lovejoy of the Society Against Anything Depressing(SAAD), a think-tank sponsored by the Oprah Winfrey Foundation.
“And, you never know, with life-extension technologies, you might just live long enough to see a cure for the disease of ageing”, she added wishfully.
“That’s nonsense”, say the study’s authors. "There’s no cure for ageing and death. Let’s be honest, everyone wants to live forever, but the evidence clearly shows that quality significantly declines with quantity. The older you are, the worse it gets. And even if science were to find a way to dramatically reverse this trend, you’re still going to wear out eventually, but you'll be much much older, then you’ll really regret you didn't do anything earlier", they continued.
Plus, living longer increases the chances that you'll get hit by a bus or die in a plane crash, or some other dreadful and unthinkable accident. It's not a pretty picture.
The conclusion: you're gonna die someday. And the longer you’re around, the better the odds it’ll happen to you. So, get over it and stop obsessing about living forever.
Up Next: Another completely meaningless and contradictory study to help fill the news pages.