An abstract of a New England Journal of Medicine paper says:

From 1960 through 2000, the life expectancy for newborns increased by 6.97 years, lifetime medical spending adjusted for inflation increased by approximately 69,000 dollars, and the cost per year of life gained was 19,900 dollars. The cost increased from 7,400 dollars per year of life gained in the 1970s to 36,300 dollars in the 1990s. The average cost per year of life gained in 1960-2000 was approximately 31,600 dollars at 15 years of age, 53,700 dollars at 45 years of age, and 84,700 dollars at 65 years of age.

Increases in life expectancy are often attributed to advances in medical technology. The above study even calculated the cost for each extra year of life gained by 'investing' in medical care. A Public Health study concluded that

80% of Americans share their view that advances in health care are extending lives. Public Health measures such as improved sanitation, literacy, housing, health behaviors, food production, safer environments, receive relatively little credit for life extension by the general public.

My question is: Is the public correct in assuming medical technology is the major contributor to improved life expectancy?

  • You've added a lot of "answer" (with link/sources) to this question, but I don't see a link to a specific claim. – Erica Jan 24 '17 at 23:33
  • I voted to close this question as unclear. There is a lot of confusing stuff that doesn't seem directly relevant to the claim. Are you asking whether public health initiatives improve life expectancy? Are you asking whether advances in medicine improve life expectancy? (How do you define "advances in medicine"?) Something else? Pick one specific claim, provide a quote in which someone makes that specific claim, ask if the claim is true. Remove other stuff. – ff524 Jan 24 '17 at 23:36
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    I think you may misunderstand what this site is about. Questions aren't about getting a point across; they are for identifying a specific, notable claim, and asking if it is true. See the FAQ for new users, especially the part starting "Generally, a high-quality Skeptics question will...". – ff524 Jan 24 '17 at 23:53
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    This question is confusing numerous factors, ignoring others and stating a false dilemma. I'd say let's work out what the claim is; find a few examples of it and cite one, instead of mixing different things into a single question. – Sklivvz Jan 24 '17 at 23:58
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    Do you count "vaccination" as a form of medical care? – Mark Jan 25 '17 at 1:04

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