Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

New study: oral contraceptives linked to higher risk of multiple sclerosis

ECM sent me this article from Fox News about the new study.

Excerpt:

In a new study, researchers found an increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) among women who have taken oral contraceptives. However, the findings do not mean women should stop using birth control, the researchers say.

Utilizing membership data from Kaiser Permanente Southern California, researchers analyzed the health records of 305 women aged 14 to 48 who were diagnosed with MS or its precursor, clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), between 2008 and 2011.  They looked at the women’s birth control use up to three years prior to the onset of MS symptoms

Overall, researchers found a 30 percent increased risk of developing MS amongst women who had at least three months of oral contraceptive use, compared to a control group of 3,050 women who did not have MS. They found that 29.2 percent of women with MS used birth control before their diagnoses, while 23 percent of women in the healthy control group used birth control– showing an increased risk with higher use of the drug, study author Dr. Kerstin Hellwig, a post-doctoral research fellow at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, told FoxNews.com.

Additionally, for women who did not currently use an oral contraceptive but had in some time in the three years prior to being diagnosed, there was also a slightly higher risk.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. The causes are unclear, but experts believe genetics, environmental hazards and smoking are all possible factors. The condition normally develops between ages 20 and 40, Hellwig said.

Researchers say use of birth control is not a firmly established cause for MS, but they do see a link.

“It’s not clear what role [hormones] play in the development of the disease, but it’s clear that two to three times more women than men have MS,” Hellwig said.

Previously, I blogged about studies on abortion and breast cancer.

Abortion and breast cancer

New study is up here at the National Institutes of Health web site.

Life News reported on the study here.

Excerpt:

A new study of women from India shows women who get an induced abortion are 626% more likely to have breast cancer compared with women who carry their pregnancies to term and have the baby.The study found women more likely to have breast cancer had “higher number of abortions.”

This study follows closely after a bombshell meta-analysis of breast cancer studies found a 44% increased risk of contracting breast cancer for women who had abortions.

“History of abortion was also found to be positively associated with the risk of breast cancer with 6.26 times higher risk in women having a history of abortion,” they concluded.

The doctors conducting the new study are based at the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition Unit, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, India. Their report, published in the Indian Journal of Cancer confirms what previous studies have shown, namely that an abortion weakens the breast’s muscle tissue in a way that makes it more susceptible to cancer.

“However, the cases had a significantly higher number of abortions (61.3%) as compared to the controls (16.3%),” they wrote. “History of abortion was also found to be positively associated with the risk of breast cancer with 6.26 times higher risk in women having a history of abortion. The history of abortions was found to be significantly higher in breast cancer cases as compared to controls, with the Relative Risk (RR) = 6.26 in women having a history of abortion.”

This is not the first study to confirm a link between abortion and breast cancer.

Abortion and breast cancer

Many studies show a link between abortion and breast cancer.

Study 1: (September 2010)

Based on the expression of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and HER2/neu (HER2), breast cancer is classified into several subtypes: luminal A (ER+ and/or PR+, HER2-), luminal B (ER+ and/or PR+, HER2+), HER2-overexpressing (ER-, PR-, and HER2+) and triple-negative (ER-, PR-, and HER2-). The aim of this case-control study is to determine reproductive factors associated with breast cancer subtypes in Chinese women. A total of 1,417 patients diagnosed with breast cancer in the First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, China between 2001 and 2009 and 1,587 matched controls without a prior breast cancer were enrolled.

[…]Postmenopause and spontaneous abortion were inversely associated with the risk of luminal tumors. By contrast, multiparity, family history of breast cancer and induced abortion increased the risk of breast cancer.

Study 2: (March 2010)

OBJECTIVE: To explore the risk factors of breast cancer for better control and prevention of the malignancy.

METHODS: The clinical data of 232 patients with pathologically established breast cancer were investigated in this 1:1 case-control study to identify the risk factors of breast cancer.

RESULTS: The history of benign breast diseases, family history of carcinoma andmultiple abortions were the statistically significant risk factors of breast cancer, while breast feeding was the protective factor.

CONCLUSION: A history of benign breast diseases, family history of carcinoma and multiple abortions are all risk factors of breast cancer.

And more recently, I blogged about a very recent study from China which concluded thus:

IA is significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese females, and the risk of breast cancer increases as the number of IA increases. If IA were to be confirmed as a risk factor for breast cancer, high rates of IA in China may contribute to increasing breast cancer rates.

IA is, of course, induced abortion.

Filed under: News, , , ,

New study: women who have induced abortions more likely to get breast cancer

New study is up here at the National Institutes of Health web site.

Life News reported on the study here.

Excerpt:

A new study of women from India shows women who get an induced abortion are 626% more likely to have breast cancer compared with women who carry their pregnancies to term and have the baby.The study found women more likely to have breast cancer had “higher number of abortions.”

This study follows closely after a bombshell meta-analysis of breast cancer studies found a 44% increased risk of contracting breast cancer for women who had abortions.

“History of abortion was also found to be positively associated with the risk of breast cancer with 6.26 times higher risk in women having a history of abortion,” they concluded.

The doctors conducting the new study are based at the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition Unit, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, India. Their report, published in the Indian Journal of Cancer confirms what previous studies have shown, namely that an abortion weakens the breast’s muscle tissue in a way that makes it more susceptible to cancer.

“However, the cases had a significantly higher number of abortions (61.3%) as compared to the controls (16.3%),” they wrote. “History of abortion was also found to be positively associated with the risk of breast cancer with 6.26 times higher risk in women having a history of abortion. The history of abortions was found to be significantly higher in breast cancer cases as compared to controls, with the Relative Risk (RR) = 6.26 in women having a history of abortion.”

This is not the first study to confirm a link between abortion and breast cancer.

Abortion and breast cancer

Many studies show a link between abortion and breast cancer.

Study 1: (September 2010)

Based on the expression of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and HER2/neu (HER2), breast cancer is classified into several subtypes: luminal A (ER+ and/or PR+, HER2-), luminal B (ER+ and/or PR+, HER2+), HER2-overexpressing (ER-, PR-, and HER2+) and triple-negative (ER-, PR-, and HER2-). The aim of this case-control study is to determine reproductive factors associated with breast cancer subtypes in Chinese women. A total of 1,417 patients diagnosed with breast cancer in the First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, China between 2001 and 2009 and 1,587 matched controls without a prior breast cancer were enrolled.

[…]Postmenopause and spontaneous abortion were inversely associated with the risk of luminal tumors. By contrast, multiparity, family history of breast cancer and induced abortion increased the risk of breast cancer.

Study 2: (March 2010)

OBJECTIVE: To explore the risk factors of breast cancer for better control and prevention of the malignancy.

METHODS: The clinical data of 232 patients with pathologically established breast cancer were investigated in this 1:1 case-control study to identify the risk factors of breast cancer.

RESULTS: The history of benign breast diseases, family history of carcinoma andmultiple abortions were the statistically significant risk factors of breast cancer, while breast feeding was the protective factor.

CONCLUSION: A history of benign breast diseases, family history of carcinoma and multiple abortions are all risk factors of breast cancer.

And more recently, I blogged about a very recent study from China which concluded thus:

IA is significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese females, and the risk of breast cancer increases as the number of IA increases. If IA were to be confirmed as a risk factor for breast cancer, high rates of IA in China may contribute to increasing breast cancer rates.

IA is, of course, induced abortion.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

New study: women who take oral contraceptives have a higher risk of getting breast cancer

From the Times of India.

Excerpt:

 Women who take oral contraceptives regularly are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to others, shows a study by AIIMS doctors. Breast cancer risk was found to be 9.5 times more in women with a history of consuming such pills. Early menstruation cycle, late marriage and lower duration of breastfeeding were the other major factors responsible for the disease among Indians, according to the study published in the latest issue of the Indian Journal of Cancer.

The study was conducted on 640 women, of which 320 were breast cancer patients. “We found long-term use of oral contraceptive pills (OCP) higher among those suffering from breast cancer-11.9%-compared to healthy individuals-1.2%,” said Dr Umesh Kapil, a professor at the public health nutrition unit, AIIMS. He said breast cancer is caused by repeated exposure of breast cells to circulating ovarian hormones, and long-term use of OCPs, which contain estrogen and progesterone, may be increasing this risk by causing hormonal imbalance.

The study mostly had women who used OCPs for birth control. Emergency contraceptives, popularly called morning-after pills, were not included.

This is not the first study, nor even the second study, to confirm this link.

Birth control pills

Many studies showed that taking birth control pills caused an increased risk of breast cancer.

Study 1: (March 2003)

RESULTS: Among the youngest age group (<35 years, n = 545), significant predictors of risk included African-American race (RR = 2.66: 95% CI 1.4-4.9) and recent use of oral contraceptives (RR = 2.26; 95% CI 1.4-3.6). Although these relationships were strongest for estrogen receptor-negative (ER-) tumors (RRs of 3.30 for race and 3.56 for recent oral contraceptive use), these associations were also apparent for young women with ER+ tumors. Delayed childbearing was a risk factor for ER+ tumors among the older premenopausal women (Ptrend < 0.01), but not for women <35 years in whom early childbearing was associated with an increased risk, reflecting a short-term increase in risk immediately following a birth.

Study 2: (October 2008)

Oral contraceptive use ≥1 year was associated with a 2.5-fold increased risk for triple-negative breast cancer (95% confidence interval, 1.4-4.3) and no significantly increased risk for non-triple-negative breast cancer (Pheterogeneity = 0.008). Furthermore, the risk among oral contraceptive users conferred by longer oral contraceptive duration and by more recent use was significantly greater for triple-negative breast cancer than non-triple-negative breast cancer (Pheterogeneity = 0.02 and 0.01, respectively).

When people talk about a war on women, maybe they should be thinking about this practice of promoting behaviors to women that make them sick. And eventually, we all have to pay for the increased costs of health care when we encourage people to do things that make them sick. We should not be promoting birth control to young women in order to enable them to have recreational sex. It’s not worth the harm it causes them.

Filed under: News, , , , , ,

New study finds highest-ever risk of breast cancer from abortion

Life News reports on the latest studies confirming the link between abortion and breast cancer.

Excerpt:

A newly-published study shows the highest-ever abortion-breast cancer risk for women of any previously-published study on the link between the two.

A Bangladesh study published in the Journal of Dhaka Medical College on risk factors for breast cancer, led by Dr. Suraiya Jabeen, found a statistically significant 20.62-fold increased risk among women with abortion histories. The new study on the abortion-breast cancer link is by far the highest risk elevation reported among 73 published abortion-breast cancer studies.

Physical inactivity, being menopause, positive family history of breast cancer and history of induced abortion were found important risk factors,” the authors wrote.

Professor Joel Brind, a professor at Baruch College, City University of New York who is an expert on the abortion-breast cancer link, said the reason why the risk elevation is so high is because it’s “a measure of relative risk.”

Observing that women in Bangladesh have very traditional childbearing patterns that reduce breast cancer risk, he explained: “Almost all the women are married (97% currently married; the rest widowed) and with child by the time they are 20, and all of the kids are breastfed. Ninety percent had their first child at age 21 or younger (99% of controls did). They typically neither take contraceptive steroids nor have any abortions. Nulliparity (childlessness) or abortion before first full term pregnancy (both of which mean no breastfeeding) in a population in which breast cancer is almost unheard of, makes the relative risk very high.”

Brind continued: “Although the authors did not include a measure of their abortion link’s statistical significance, their raw data was complete enough to calculate a 95% confidence interval of 12.85-32.51, making abortion by far the strongest and most significant risk factor observed in these Bengali women. In plain English, women in this population who had any induced abortions were more than 20 times as likely to get breast cancer, compared to women with no abortions.”

According to the study, additional minor reproductive factors influencing breast cancer risk included: use of oral contraceptives (1.47-fold increased risk); early first birth at or before age 21 (0.35-fold reduced risk); having two or more children (0.29-fold reduced risk); and increased number of months spent breastfeeding (0.30-fold reduced risk).

Now let’s take a look at some of the previous studies.

Previous studies

Life News reports.

Excerpt:

A study in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention shows abortion increases the risk of breast cancer for women.

C. Yanhua of the First Peoples’ Hospital of Kunming in Yunnan province and his colleagues found the abortion-breast cancer association after comparing data from 263 cases of breast cancer and 457 controls without the disease. Their analysis covers the years 2009-2011.

The authors examined information on disease diagnosis, demographics, medical history, and reproductive characteristics of the patients involved and also looked at short menstrual cycle, old age at first live birth, never breastfeeding, history of oral contraceptive use, postmenopausal status and nulliparity to determine in abortion-breast cancer link exists.

They write that “multivariate model analysis revealed the significant independent positive associations with breast cancer of shorter menstrual cycle, older age at first live birth, never breastfeeding, history of oral contraception experience, increased number of abortion, menopause status, and nulliparities.”

“Number of abortion showed an increasing higher risk of breast cancer,” they added, while saying that women who had one live birth lowered their risk. “As far as women who had once a live birth, it showed decreased the risk of breast cancer compared to nulliparous.”

“This study showed an increased risk of breast cancer with times of abortion. The association between abortion and risk of breast cancer in a study in China showed that the risk factors of female breast cancer included abortion times more than two (Li et al., 2006),” they continued. “Another study found that risk was raised among women reporting at least one abortion, but no trend was seen with number of abortions (Heuch et al., 2008). In a meta-analysis study, pooled odds ratio for number of abortions greater than and equal three was statistically significant (95%CI:1.68-5.36) (Tao et al.,2011).”

“In conclusion, in this study the estrogen related risk factors of breast cancer included woman who had longer menstrual cycle, older age of first live birth, never breastfeeding, nulliparity, and number of abortions more than one. Therefore, it is recommended to women with these risk factors perform breast cancer screening tests earlier and regularly,” they said.

Previously, another study was published in Oxford University’s European Journal of Public Health, and the abstract is posted on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (aka PubMed).

Here are the results:

With statistical controls for number of pregnancies, birth year and age at last pregnancy, the combination of induced abortion(s) and natural loss(es) was associated with more than three times higher mortality rate than only birth(s). Moderate risks were identified with only induced abortion, only natural loss and having experienced all outcomes compared with only birth(s). Risk of death was more than six times greater among women who had never been pregnant compared with those who only had birth(s). Increased risks of death were 45%, 114% and 191% for 1, 2 and 3 abortions, respectively, compared with no abortions after controlling for other reproductive outcomes and last pregnancy age. Increased risks of death were equal to 44%, 86% and 150% for 1, 2 and 3 natural losses, respectively, compared with none after including statistical controls. Finally, decreased mortality risks were observed for women who had experienced two and three or more births compared with no births.

Life Site News adds more:

A single induced abortion increases the risk of maternal death by 45 percent compared to women with no history of abortion, according to a new study of all women of reproductive age in Denmark over a 25 year period.

The study found that each additional abortion is associated with an even higher death rate. Women who had two abortions were 114 percent more likely to die during the period examined, and women had three or more abortions had a 192 percent increased risk of death.

Elevated rates of death were also observed among women who experienced miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies or other natural losses. Among women with a history of multiple pregnancies, women with a history of both abortions and natural losses, but no live births, had the highest mortality rate.

Women who had never been pregnant had the highest mortality rate overall.

However, women with a history of successful deliveries were the least likely to die during the 25 years examined.

The study is the second record linkage analysis of Danish mortality data to be published this month.

The earlier study was limited to comparing mortality rates following only the first pregnancy outcome. It found that abortion of a first pregnancy was associated with a higher rate of death compared to death rates among women who delivered a first pregnancy. The higher death rate among women who had abortions persisted for each of the first ten years following the first pregnancy outcome.

[…]Dr. Reardon is the director of the Elliot Institute, which funds research related to abortion. He believes further research is needed to explore how the outcomes observed in this latest study may be influenced by abortion’s impact on natural pregnancy losses. A new population study from Finland, for example, has found that abortion is associated with higher rates of preterm delivery, low birth weight delivery, and perinatal deaths in subsequent pregnancies.

“We knew from our previous studies of low income women in California that women who have multiple pregnancy outcomes, such as having a history of both abortion and miscarriage, have significantly different mortality rates,” Reardon said.

”But this new study is the first to examine how each experience with abortion or miscarriage contributes to higher mortality rates,” Reardon observed.

“This is called a ‘dose effect’ because each exposure, or ‘dose,’ is seen to produce more of the same effect, which is what one would expect if there is a cause-effect relationship,” he said.

Reardon believes that a truer picture of the benefits of childbirth and the risks of abortion and pregnancy loss is now emerging because of a shift to more reliable record linkage studies. Such studies have been conducted in Finland, Denmark and the United States.

And another from Life News.

Excerpt:

new study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention in February reported a very statistically significant increased risk of breast cancer for women with previous abortions as opposed to women who have never had one.

The study, consisting of 1,351 women and led by researcher Ai-Ren Jiang, reported a statistically significant 1.52-fold elevation in risk for women with induced abortions and a “significant dose-response relationship between (the risk) for breast cancer and number of induced abortions,” meaning the risk climbed with a higher number of previous abortions.

For premenopausal women who have had abortions, the numbers were relatively small, and the observed 16% risk elevation was not statistically significant. However, for those with three or more abortions, the risk climbed to a statistically significant 1.55-fold elevation.

“The results have revealed that induced abortion was related to increased risk of breast caner. Premenopausal women who had ≥3 times of induced abortion were at increased crude odds ratio (OR) (2.41, 95%CI: 1.09-5.42) and adjusted-OR (1.55, 95%CI: 1.15-5.68),” they wrote. “Postmenopausal women with a previous induced abortion were at increased crude OR (2.04, 95%CI: 1.48-2.81) and adjusted-OR (1.82, 95%CI: 1.30-2.54), and there was a significant increase trend in OR with number of induced abortions (p for trend: 0.0001).”

[…][A] Chinese study in 1995 by L. Bu and colleagues, including Janet Daling of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, reported a statistically significant 4.5-fold elevated risk among women with previous induced abortions who developed breast cancer at or before age 35, compared to older women (who experienced a statistically significant 2.5-fold elevated risk)

Here’s another study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showing that excessive consumption of alcohol is a rish factor for breast cancer.

Excerpt:

Consumption of 3 to 6 alcoholic drinks per week is associated with a small increase in the risk of breast cancer, and consumption in both earlier and later adult life is also associated with an increased risk, according to a study in the November 2 issue of JAMA.

“In many studies, higher consumption of alcohol has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. However, the effect of low levels of drinking as is common in the United States has not been well quantified,” according to background information in the article. “In addition, the role of drinking patterns (i.e., frequency of drinking and ‘binge’ drinking) and consumption at different times of adult life are not well understood.”

Wendy Y. Chen, M.D., M.P.H., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues examined the association of breast cancer with alcohol consumption during adult life, including quantity, frequency, and age at consumption. The study included 105,986 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study who were followed up from 1980 until 2008 with an early adult alcohol assessment and 8 updated alcohol assessments. The primary outcome the researchers measured was the risk of developing invasive breast cancer.

During the follow-up period, there were 7,690 cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed among the study participants. Analyses of data indicated that a low level of alcohol consumption (5.0 to 9.9 grams per day, equivalent to 3-6 glasses of wine per week) was modestly but statistically significantly associated with a 15 percent increased risk of breast cancer. In addition, women who consumed at least 30 grams of alcohol daily on average (at least 2 drinks per day) had a 51 percent increased risk of breast cancer compared with women who never consumed alcohol.

The researchers also found that when examined separately, alcohol consumption levels at ages 18 to 40 years and after age 40 years were both strongly associated with breast cancer risk. The association with drinking in early adult life still persisted even after controlling for alcohol intake after age 40 years.

Binge drinking, but not frequency of drinking, was also associated with breast cancer risk after controlling for cumulative alcohol intake.

Now let’s take a look at some other factors that raise the risk of breast cancer.

Abortion and breast cancer

Many studies show a link between abortion and breast cancer.

Study 1: (September 2010)

Based on the expression of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and HER2/neu (HER2), breast cancer is classified into several subtypes: luminal A (ER+ and/or PR+, HER2-), luminal B (ER+ and/or PR+, HER2+), HER2-overexpressing (ER-, PR-, and HER2+) and triple-negative (ER-, PR-, and HER2-). The aim of this case-control study is to determine reproductive factors associated with breast cancer subtypes in Chinese women. A total of 1,417 patients diagnosed with breast cancer in the First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, China between 2001 and 2009 and 1,587 matched controls without a prior breast cancer were enrolled.

[…]Postmenopause and spontaneous abortion were inversely associated with the risk of luminal tumors. By contrast, multiparity, family history of breast cancer and induced abortion increased the risk of breast cancer.

Study 2: (March 2010)

OBJECTIVE: To explore the risk factors of breast cancer for better control and prevention of the malignancy.

METHODS: The clinical data of 232 patients with pathologically established breast cancer were investigated in this 1:1 case-control study to identify the risk factors of breast cancer.

RESULTS: The history of benign breast diseases, family history of carcinoma andmultiple abortions were the statistically significant risk factors of breast cancer, while breast feeding was the protective factor.

CONCLUSION: A history of benign breast diseases, family history of carcinoma and multiple abortions are all risk factors of breast cancer.

But wait, there’s more.

Birth control pills

Many studies showed that taking birth control pills caused an increased risk of breast cancer.

Study 1: (March 2003)

RESULTS: Among the youngest age group (<35 years, n = 545), significant predictors of risk included African-American race (RR = 2.66: 95% CI 1.4-4.9) and recent use of oral contraceptives (RR = 2.26; 95% CI 1.4-3.6). Although these relationships were strongest for estrogen receptor-negative (ER-) tumors (RRs of 3.30 for race and 3.56 for recent oral contraceptive use), these associations were also apparent for young women with ER+ tumors. Delayed childbearing was a risk factor for ER+ tumors among the older premenopausal women (Ptrend < 0.01), but not for women <35 years in whom early childbearing was associated with an increased risk, reflecting a short-term increase in risk immediately following a birth.

Study 2: (October 2008)

Oral contraceptive use ≥1 year was associated with a 2.5-fold increased risk for triple-negative breast cancer (95% confidence interval, 1.4-4.3) and no significantly increased risk for non-triple-negative breast cancer (Pheterogeneity = 0.008). Furthermore, the risk among oral contraceptive users conferred by longer oral contraceptive duration and by more recent use was significantly greater for triple-negative breast cancer than non-triple-negative breast cancer (Pheterogeneity = 0.02 and 0.01, respectively).

All of this research shows that abortion is bad for women, but I also should mention that abortion is always bad for the unborn child, especially sex-selection abortions, which target women more than men.

Conclusion

The total cost for breast cancer treatment, which raises medical insurance premiums (private health care) or taxes (single-payer health care), has been estimated to be between $1.8 billion and $3.8 billion dollars. In addition, the government spends billions of dollars each year on breast cancer research. All of this spending is costing taxpayers a lot of money, as people demand more and more government funding of breast cancer research and breast cancer treatment (with either private or single-payer health care).

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wall Street Journal covers the demographic crisis in America

Mary sent me this socially conservative article in the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

The nation’s falling fertility rate underlies many of our most difficult problems. Once a country’s fertility rate falls consistently below replacement, its age profile begins to shift. You get more old people than young people. And eventually, as the bloated cohort of old people dies off, population begins to contract. This dual problem—a population that is disproportionately old and shrinking overall—has enormous economic, political and cultural consequences.

[…]Low-fertility societies don’t innovate because their incentives for consumption tilt overwhelmingly toward health care. They don’t invest aggressively because, with the average age skewing higher, capital shifts to preserving and extending life and then begins drawing down. They cannot sustain social-security programs because they don’t have enough workers to pay for the retirees. They cannot project power because they lack the money to pay for defense and the military-age manpower to serve in their armed forces.

[…]If you want to see what happens to a country once it hurls itself off the demographic cliff, look at Japan, with a fertility rate of 1.3. In the 1980s, everyone assumed the Japanese were on a path to owning the world. But the country’s robust economic facade concealed a crumbling demographic structure.

The Japanese fertility rate began dipping beneath the replacement rate in 1960 for a number of complicated reasons (including a postwar push by the West to lower Japan’s fertility rate, the soaring cost of having children and an overall decline in the marriage rate). By the 1980s, it was already clear that the country would eventually undergo a population contraction. In 1984, demographer Naohiro Ogawa warned that, “Owing to a decrease in the growth rate of the labor force…Japan’s economy is likely to slow down.” He predicted annual growth rates of 1% or even 0% in the first quarter of the 2000s.

From 1950 to 1973, Japan’s total-factor productivity—a good measure of economic dynamism—increased by an average of 5.4% per year. From 1990 to 2006, it increased by just 0.63% per year. Since 1991, Japan’s rate of GDP growth has exceeded 2.5% in only four years; its annual rate of growth has averaged 1.03%.

Because of its dismal fertility rate, Japan’s population peaked in 2008; it has already shrunk by a million since then. Last year, for the first time, the Japanese bought more adult diapers than diapers for babies, and more than half the country was categorized as “depopulated marginal land.” At the current fertility rate, by 2100 Japan’s population will be less than half what it is now.

If the Wintery Knight blog stands for anything it stands for 1) defending Christianity with reasons and evidence and 2) promoting fusionism, which is the view that social conservatives and fiscal conservatives are allies who need to understand each other’s views so that we can work together. Well, fiscal conservatives, now you know that social conservative issues are your problem. Conservativism is a seamless garment.

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