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Billy Joel said that only the good die young but lately a lot more than that are dying before they've led a full life. Dr. Jan Garavaglia, a mortician with a show on the Discovery Health channel, says that over 70% of the bodies she sees in the morgue are premature and shouldn't be there. (Premature death occurs when a person dies of a cause other than old age.)

A revealing study done in the U.S. by Duke University found that over one million of the 2.4 million U.S. deaths in 2010 could have been avoided if alternative choices had been made. An obvious conclusion of the study is that improving personal choices may be an effective way of saving lives. The good news is that we have a great deal of control over our own mortality.

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