I was listening to a doctor on a local PBS station talking about health in the USA. He was given some stats which seemed off to me.
Basically his jist was that, life expectancy has only dramatically increased because the death rate for children under 5 has decreased so dramatically. In other words 200 years ago, if a person made it to five years old he could reasonably expect to live to about 66 years old. Today, if a person lives to be five he can expect to live to be 69. That is only a difference of 3 years.
He explained while deaths from infections, childbirth etc have fallen dramatically, the incidences of cancer and heart disease, now more common tend to equal it all out. PROVIDED you live to be five (at least).