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"compression of morbidity"

Old 12-25-21, 08:08 PM
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"compression of morbidity"

This is new terminology for me, but nicely said. Whether we realize it or not, this is one of our goals as mature cyclists. Here's a definition of morbidity:https://www.cancer.gov/publications/.../def/morbidity
Refers to having a disease or a symptom of disease, or to the amount of disease within a population. Morbidity also refers to medical problems caused by a treatment.
Compression of morbidity means moving whatever morbid condition we might acquire to a point as late in life as possible and thus having said morbidity take up as little of our lifetime as possible. While the simple joy of driving our bikes up the road is a big reason we continue to ride, this compression business is an added attractant. I came upon this phrase in a obituary in the NYT for a Mr. Fries, who pioneered research in the science of staying healthier, longer. Here's a link to the obit: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/24/h...ries-dead.html

and his seminal paper from 1980 (with PDF): https://www.researchgate.net/publica...n_of_Morbidity
(Yes, I know that word is now a bit frowned upon, but I just love controversy.)

I think the included graphs are fascinating. Well, the whole paper is, at least to me.
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Old 12-26-21, 09:15 AM
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I agree with and have been living the concept. I'm not trying to live any longer (heaven forbid!), but trying to live better.

Who knows what will happen if I get there, but I say now that I will refuse treatment for chronic fatal disease. I was an EMT for a busy suburban volunteer fire department, and I don't want to end life like many of the patients we transported. When it's time to leave the party, I hope I'll take the hint. Some of us on the crew semi-joked about "transcortical high-velocity lead therapy."
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Old 12-26-21, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
I agree with and have been living the concept. I'm not trying to live any longer (heaven forbid!), but trying to live better.

Who knows what will happen if I get there, but I say now that I will refuse treatment for chronic fatal disease. I was an EMT for a busy suburban volunteer fire department, and I don't want to end life like many of the patients we transported. When it's time to leave the party, I hope I'll take the hint. Some of us on the crew semi-joked about "transcortical high-velocity lead therapy."
That last bit though is terribly unkind. One can simply stop eating and drinking. Takes about a week. One has time for reflection and to say goodbye. One can also change one's mind up to the point of organ damage from dehydration. It's said to be quite peaceful and painless. Morbidities will help things along.
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Old 12-26-21, 09:48 PM
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Some time ago I read that a high percentage of athletes that persevere in their senior years not only live longer but tend to die more quickly rather than enduring prolonged illness. (Pre-compression thought by about two decades, but its good to see further validation.). For me, a healthier longer life and a quick death (no guarantees though) seems like a good deal. Pedal on
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Old 01-02-22, 07:32 PM
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Well since my wife and I were unknowingly exposed yesterday, all day to our COVID positive grandson yesterday (we are both fully vaccinated) I may be testing out the principal first hand.
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Old 01-03-22, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Some time ago I read that a high percentage of athletes that persevere in their senior years not only live longer but tend to die more quickly rather than enduring prolonged illness. (Pre-compression thought by about two decades, but its good to see further validation.). For me, a healthier longer life and a quick death (no guarantees though) seems like a good deal. Pedal on
I sure have some recent anecdotes to support this. It's hard to lose friends, but it's good to see them leave with sound mind and body.

My loved ones all know how I feel about slowing down and getting old. I keep telling them that I think it's riskier to not ride, that sitting is the new smoking, and all that. But there is nobody financially depending on me. My younger brother employs a couple dozen people and helps support some grandchildren. I tell him to ride carefully, and take safer routes when I ride with him.
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Old 01-03-22, 02:35 PM
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Seventh Day Adventists live 10 years longer than others in their area and it is a combination of a vegan diet and stress management. Same applies to the "blue zones" around the world where people live longer and maintain their physical and mental fitness as well. What we choose to eat and drink has the most influence on our health and the reason why Americans are among the least healthy people on the planet.

Growing up I never had a fat person at my schools up through grad school. But I grew up before fast "food" and sugary soft drinks became ubiquitous. Now it is unusual to see a child or parent that is not obese and the phrase morbidly obese should provide a clue about the health ramifications but most Americans prefer not to think about it and change their diet. Doubly unfortunate as the production of meat and dairy and palm oil is destructive to the planet as well as human health.
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Old 01-04-22, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Calsun View Post
...Growing up I never had a fat person at my schools up through grad school. But I grew up before fast "food" and sugary soft drinks became ubiquitous. Now it is unusual to see a child or parent that is not obese...
There was one fat kid in my grade school in the 60s, my best friend. We became avid cyclists together. He grew into a high school athlete, and is currently an extremely healthy plant-based diet advocate.

One of our classmates was diabetic, never met another until the late 80s. Now you see signs above the aisles in pharmacies for diabetic supplies. I want to yell out, "This is not normal, people! This is NOT okay!"

Bill Bryson wrote that we are a nation of people crippling ourselves with Doritos and Mountain Dew.
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Old 01-04-22, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
That last bit though is terribly unkind. One can simply stop eating and drinking. Takes about a week. One has time for reflection and to say goodbye. One can also change one's mind up to the point of organ damage from dehydration. It's said to be quite peaceful and painless. Morbidities will help things along.
... or support Compassion and Choices, as I have for several years. In a steadily increasing number of states, one can legally receive medical aid in dying -- basically an overdose comprising 100 Secobarbital tablets. Go to sleep peacefully, surrounded by loved ones if you like, and never wake up.
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