Age limit for us to live?
There might be no natural limit to how long humans can live, at least not one yet in sight. It is contrary to the claims of some demographers and biologists. That’s according to a statistical analysis published Thursday in Science1 on the survival probabilities of nearly 4,000 ‘super-elderly’ people in Italy, all aged 105 and older.
So, A team led by Sapienza University demographer Elisabetta Barbi and University of Roma Tre statistician Francesco Lagona. They are both based in Rome, found that the risk of death.
“If there is a mortality plateau, then there is no limit to human longevity,” says Jean-Marie Robine. He is a demographer at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research in Montpellier, who was not involved in the study. That would mean that someone like Chiyo Miyako, the Japanese great-great-great-grandmother. She was at 117, is the world’s oldest known person, could live for years to come — or even forever, at least hypothetically.
So, Researchers have long debated whether humans have an upper age limit. The consensus holds that the risk of death steadily increases in adulthood, up to about age 80 or so. There is vehement disagreement about what happens as people enter their 90s and 100s.
It is natural ‘shelf-life’ for our species and that mortality rates keep increasing. Others have looked at the same data and concluded that the death risk flattens out in one’s ultra-golden years. It is therefore that the human lifespan does not have an upper threshold.
In 2016, geneticist Jan Vijg and his colleagues rekindled the debate when they analyzed the reported ages at death for the world’s oldest individuals over a half-century. They estimated that human longevity hit a ceiling at about 115 years — 125 tops.
So, Vijg and his team argued that with few if any, gains in maximum lifespan since the mid-1990s. Its human ageing had reached its natural limit. The longest known lifespan belongs to Jeanne Calment, a French super-centenarian who died in 1997 at age 122.
Experts challenged the statistical methods in the 2016 study, setting off a firestorm into which now step Barbi and Lagona. Working with colleagues at the Italian National Institute of Statistics. The researchers collected records on every Italian aged 105 years and older between 2009 and 2015. Their gathering certificates of death, birth and survival to minimize the chances of ‘age exaggeration’, a common problem among the oldest old.
As such, says Kenneth Howse, a health-policy researcher at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing in the United Kingdom, “these data provide the best evidence to date of extreme-age mortality plateaus in humans”.
So, The world is home to around 500,000 people aged 100 and up. It's a number that’s predicted to nearly double with each coming decade. Even if the risk of late-life mortality remains constant at 50:50. It is the swelling global membership in the 100-plus club should translate into a creep upwards in the oldest person alive by about one year per decade, says Joop de Beer