life span increase

When the U.S.A. entered World War I in 1917, it was asked by the British to replace all the line-of-supply ships the British had lost to German submarines and simultaneously to bring the U.S. Navy to parity with that of the British while also training, arming, transporting, and Navy-escorting one million soldiers across the Germansubmarine-infested Atlantic to the battlefields of France. When the numbers of U.S.A. troops killed and wounded in World War I battling reached unprecedented numbers, the U.S. Congress was confronted with the enormous cost of training, arming, and transatlantic-replacing of their killed and wounded troops in France. The U.S. Congress was then informed of an alternative solution to the replacement problem.

The U.S. medical scientists informed the U.S. Congress of the potential ability to save and repair the wounded U.S. soldiers in France, provided enough money was appropriated for a known-to-be-possible vast advancement in medical science: drugs, equipment, and practice. The cost of this capital investment in medical science, though historically unprecedented, was far less than the cost of entirely new troop replacements from the U.S. Convinced of these facts, the U.S. Congress appropriated the funds for the medical-science solution of its problem.

It worked. When the war was over and the saving and rehabilitation of vast numbers of veterans was realized, the new-era medical establishment was not disbanded. Enthusiastically supported by citizens in general, scientific medicine refocused its attention on the U.S.A. home front. One after another, the immediately fatal and "incurable" diseases, lethal conditions of yesterday, came swiftly under complete control. Medical information regarding further curing and effective anticipatory avoidances was enormously expanded in the late 1920s. It was discovered in the late 1920s that the area of highest mortality was the period of childbirth and its first ensuing four years. This brought successful coping with these initial years' fatalities into general effectiveness in the 1930s. The seeming population explosion after World War II was due in fact not to a postwar increase in the birthrate, whose small rise in the U.S.A. lasted for only two years, but to the coming of visible age of those who used to die but did not now or hereafter die in the womb or at birth or within their first four years in the 1930s, as had those conceived or born before the 1930s, together with the subsequent escapees of the pre-1930s childhood mortalities.

[Buckminster Fuller - Grunch of Giants]