Culture of Life
Fact of Life
BY The Editors
October 18-24, 2009 Issue | Posted 10/9/09 at 4:00 PM
A new study of the two decades around the Great Depression turns up a counterintuitive finding: A bad economy may be good for people’s health. Life expectancy increased by six years between 1929 and 1932 (from 57 to 63), and the increase held for both men and women. And the number of deaths from disease, accidents and infant mortality fell. The findings, uncovered at the University of Michigan and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, add to previous research showing connections between economic woes and health improvements. And, for Catholics, they call to mind any number of Scripture passages about the kind of health that really matters. For example, Philippians 4:19: “My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
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