05/16/2012 04:23 pm ET

What Role Do Drugs Play In Determining Longevity?

If you're a typical American, chances are about 50-50 that you take at least one prescription drug — and if you're upwards of 60, the odds are nearly 2 in 5 that you take five drugs or more. Some may be lifesaving, especially for those with potentially deadly chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. But how many drugs in those mountains of pills add years to the lives of people who don't suffer from such illnesses?

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