C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.


Exodus proclaims that “The sins of the father shall be visited upon the sons up to the 7th generation.”?? Price and Pottenger demonstrated 60 years ago that poor nutrition in cats led to congenital malformations by the 4th generation. Most recently it has been demonstrated that babies, born to women who go to fertility clinics for assistance in becoming pregnant, have four times as many congenital malformations as women who become pregnant naturally. Part of that problem undoubtedly has to do with the relatively infertile woman having some inherent health problem.


On November 17, 2008, BBC reported that “Periods of healthy old age “vary.” And that there is a blight of illness in European elderly. The implication in the article is that old age begins at 50!! Personally I consider elderly to be 100 plus. Nevertheless, looking at the data in the BBC article from the point of view of how many unhealthy years individuals in European countries have, we see:


Life Expectancy Range: 71 to 80.3 years.?

Years of Unhealthy Life:

UK: 10 years

Sweden: 10.1 years

Spain: 11.5 years

Austria: 14.6 years

Germany: 15.4 years

Finland: 15.6 years

Denmark: 14.7 years

Estonia: 3.4 years

Latvia: 10.3 years



Life Expectancy range:? 79.3 to 85.4 years.?

Years of Unhealthy Life:

UK: 11.9 years

France: 15.7 years

Spain: 15.4 years

Finland: 10.2 years

Sweden: 13.7 years

Austria: 18 years

Germany: 19.5

Denmark: 7.8 years

Estonia: 20.1 years

Latvia: 16.6 years


Estonia had the shortest life expectancy in both men (71.3 years) and women (79.3 years). Interestingly the men averaged “only” 3.4 unhealthy years but the women, who lived 9 years longer than the men, had 20.1 years of unhealthy life. One big question is whether the occupation and repression of Estonia for at least 50+ years was one major contributor to shortened life expectancy and greater lack of health.


I do not know the statistics for the U.S. in terms of healthy versus unhealthy life after age 50. It has been widely stated that 90% of medical expenses occur during the last one or two years of life. And it is now being widely stated that today's children will live shorter lives than their parents-because of the obesity epidemic. We know that average life expectancy for Americans is 75.4 for white men and 80.5 for white women-not much better than Estonia, the worst of the European nations. Swedish men live 5 years longer than Americans and French women live 5.5 years longer than Americans. We do know that “average” life expectancy for all Americans is shortened approximately by:

5 years for being male

6 years for smoking

6 years for obesity

6 years because of inactivity

1.5 years because of street drugs


If all Americans had no smoking, normal weight, adequate physical activity and good nutrition, average American life would increase at least 18 to 20 years! And we know that inactivity, poor nutrition, obesity and smoking often damage health for years before death. The bottom line is that HEALTH is the result of habits, behavior, beliefs, attitudes, and our ancestors!? The week before this is sent to you, I turned 76 and I am still healthy and feel 26!? Thus I have had many more healthy years than the average in any country. Incidentally Denmark had the greatest health years beyond age 50—23.6years for men and 24.1 for women. I expect to remain healthy many more years. I believe that health is the result of CHOICES that are essential, if you wish to remain healthy. Choose wisely and enjoy all your remaining years.




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