Human longevity may have hit its limit at 125 anni, according to a new study conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and published in the science journal Nature nature.
The average life expectancy of Americans has risen from 47 for residents born in 1900 to 79 today, the college said in a statement, which credited public health, diet, the environment, and other factors for the increase.
But even though the average lifespan continues to increase, data show that maximum human longevity likely tops out at 125 years. The study found that the probability of seeing one person live to be 125 years old anywhere in the world in a given year is less than 1 in 10,000.
“Demographers, as well as biologists, have contended there is no reason to think that the ongoing increase in maximum lifespan will end soon,” Jan Vijg, professor and chair of genetics, and of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Einstein, said in the college’s statement. “But our data strongly suggest that it has already been attained and that this happened in the 1990’s.”
While survival rates have improved steadily for people up to 100 years old, those rates decreased rapidly after that age.
“The data shows that we’re not very successful at keeping people alive over the age 100, and that suggests that there may be a hard limit to human lifespan,” Professor Vijg said.
S. Jay Olshansky, who studies aging at the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said that, while we are healthier, current treatments cannot protect humans from the natural biological process of aging.
“When you treat specific diseases it’s almost like putting a Band-Aid on what’s really happening to our bodies,” Mr. Olshansky. “It just has a temporary effect. The older we get, the higher the probability that something else is going to come along and influence our lives, both in terms of quality of life and risk of death”
“It’s almost like a game of Whack-a-Mole. When one thing goes down something else goes up and the older we live the quicker it is that something comes and takes the place of whatever it is that we pushed down,” Mr. Olshansky added.
Researchers in the Nature study suggested that, since the age of death of the world’s oldest person has not increased since the 1990s, it may indicate that the maximum lifespan of humans “is fixed and subject to natural constraints.”
The Einstein College of Medicine statement said that no one has topped the record set by French woman Jeanne Calment who died at age 122 in Y 1997, despite today’s medical advances.
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