As reported by the BBC, mortality rates are the lowest ever - another way of looking at the results of medical advances that increase life expectancy, reduce chronic disease and improve healthy life span. "In 2004, the number of deaths dropped by 5.4% to 7,576 per million for men and 5.5% to 5,279 for women. ... That was the lowest since 1954 ... The ONS has stressed it is part of a long-term decline in mortality rates." We can expect next year and the year after to be even lower as these trends continue. The flip side of the coin is that "lowest" is nowhere near "low enough for my liking" and the trend of increasing life span is not yet fast enough to reach escape velocity to radical life extension. Much more funding needs to go towards directed anti-aging research to achieve those goals.