Mortality Lessons From Black Death Skeletons
the MPR take:
While the Black Death killed 30-to-50% of the European population in the 14th Century, little is known about post-epidemic improvements on survival and mortality in the population. Nearly 600 skeletons of individuals from varying socioeconomic status levels who died pre- and post-Black Death were studied for the research published online in PLOS ONE. Older adults were more likely to die during the Black Death compared to younger individuals; those who were in poor health (regardless of age) prior to the epidemic had a greater risk of mortality as well. Those who did survive and their descendants appeared to have enjoyed a 200-year period where mortality and survival improved overall, compared to the pre-Black Death population, due to heightened immune responses or reduced disease susceptibility.
The medieval Black Death led to better health for future generations, according to an analysis of skeletons in London cemeteries. Tens of millions of people died in the epidemic, but their descendants lived longer and had better health than ever before, a study shows. But survivors benefited ...
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