As early as the 1930s, men could only expect to live to about 58. Men can now expect to live 20 years longer, and its all due to some remarkable accomplishments in health care in the past century. Before vaccines were widely distributed, many diseases that have almost been eradicated today, killed hundreds of thousands in 1900s. For example in 1900 there were 500,000 cases of Measles, buy 2000 there were only 81 cases. Some of the other diseases that vaccines have eliminated (or almost eliminated) are Tetanus, Smallpox, Polio, Rubella, and Mumps. The accidental discovery of Penicillin by Alexander Fleming has saved countless lives. To date, about 150 million antibiotic prescriptions are written each year in the United States.

In the 30s and 40s, huge advances were made in maternal and fetal health, decreasing maternal mortality 99 percent since the turn of the century. Due to the use of antimicrobial agents, electrolyte replacement therapy and safe blood transfusions, we can no longer expect one in 10 babies to die before they turn one.

In this infographic, explores a few ways in which medicine has greatly improved since the last century.

Welcome to 21st Century Health: Four Reasons Americans Can Be Grateful for Their Health
Image source: