A team of researchers from the New England Journal of Medicine have done some investigating to discover how much things can change in 100 years. While the year 1900 brought with it many different causes of death, from bacterial infections to severe problems with the gut, now most of us pretty much just have heart disease and cancer to fear.
The authors note that in many respects, the medical systems of today are best suited to the killer diseases of the past, which is kind of a worry. "Disease is a complex domain of human experience, involving explanation, expectation, and meaning," they write. "Doctors must acknowledge this complexity and formulate theories, practices, and systems that fully address the breadth and subtlety of disease."
"There's reason to temper optimism," Julia Belluz adds at Vox. "What kills us will continue to change - and medical advancements may not keep up."